Grilled Asparagus with Browned Sage Butter and Lemon Zest


  • about 18 asparagus spears
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Fire up the grill! Or, your oven broiler. If doing the latter, preheat your oven broiler to high.
  2. Over medium-low heat in a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Once melted, transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Coat the asparagus spears in the melted butter with a pastry brush, or in a bowl with your hands.
  4. Put the asparagus directly on the grill. When charred and “floppy”, remove. Since asparagus can be devoured raw, it’s up to you how crunchy or tender you want them! If using the broiler, line up the asparagus on a baking sheet and place on the top rack for 20 minutes until they reach the desired state (just don’t burn, or you’ll never forgive yourself!). When the asparagus are done, move to a serving plate.
  5. Next, slowly melt the remaining butter in the same saucepan. When it is half melted, add the sage leaves, and mix with the butter so that they are thoroughly coated.
  6. The butter will begin to simmer and bubble. Let it continue just until it turns a caramel brown and the sage leaves have rolled up and withered. Transfer to a small bowl immediately or the butter will burn.
  7. Drizzle brown butter over the asparagus. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt and lemon zest.
  8. Soak up the glory!