Steamed Asparagus with Almond Butter


6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in heavy small skillet over low heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into medium bowl.

2. Add remaining 5 Tbsp. butter, parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel to shallot mixture and whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Steam asparagus until crisp-tender. (all steps so far can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover butter mixture and asparagus separately and chill.)

4. When ready to serve, place butter mixture in heavy large skillet over medium-heat. Add almonds and cool until butter browns, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among plates and serve.

Serves: 8

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