Lionheart Wines
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Asparagus with Capers and Pine Nuts

Serves: 4
Time: Prep time – 3 to 5 minutes, Cooking time – 7 to 10 minutes.


  • ¼ cup (1.5 oz) pine nuts
  • 1 ½ lbs (750 g) asparagus, preferably small to medium-sized spears, 6-7 in long
  • salt
  • 6 tblsp (3oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) drained capers
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ lb (125 g) piece Italian Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano 


  • In a heavy frying pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring, until lightly colored and fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl; set aside
  •  Break or cut off any tough white ends of the asparagus spears and discard.  Cut all the spears the same length.  If medium-sized or larger, peel the asparagus spears as well; using a vegetable peeler or an asparagus peeler and starting about 2 inches below the tip, peel off the outer skin from each spear.
  • In a large sauté pan or deep frying pan that will accommodate the asparagus comfortably lying flat, add water to a depth of 2-3 inches.  Bring to a rapid boil over high heat.
  •  Add 2 teaspoons salt and the asparagus.
  • When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and boil gently, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 4-7 minutes, depending upon their size. 


  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low hear, melt the butter.  Add the lemon juice and capers, season to taste with pepper and cook, stirring gently, for 30 – 40 seconds.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.
  • When the asparagus spears are done, drain well and place on a serving platter or individual plates.
  • Spoon the caper sauce over them and then scatter on the pine nuts.  Using a vegetable peeler and holding the piece of Parmesan over the asparagus, shave off paper-thin slices; be generous with the cheese.
  • Serve at once.

Williams-Sonoma, Simple Classics Cookbook

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