Orange Balsamic Asparagus Recipe

Grilled asparagus spears with orange zest
Philip Wilkins / Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This is an excellent recipe to take advantage of fresh asparagus which is available almost year-round these days. However, if necessary, you may use frozen asparagus. The sauce has the citrus tang and slight sweetness of orange juice plus the richness of a good balsamic vinegar boiled down into a luscious syrup. A little sprinkle of sesame seeds is the icing on the cake. This is so simple to make, yet so elegant.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1/2 of a large navel orange)
  • 1 tbsp good-quality​ balsamic vinegar (see note)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Kosher​ salt and freshly ground​ pepper to taste
  • 1 pound fresh​ asparagus, ends trimmed

How to Make It

Toast sesame seeds in a dry frypan until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside.

Whisk together orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until reduced by half. it should be thickened and almost syrupy. Set aside.

Steam asparagus on a rack in a covered pot for 3 to 5 minutes, until you can easily pierce the thickest part of the stalk with a knife tip, but it is still firm and colorful.

Top steamed asparagus with a drizzle of the reduced vinaigrette and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Note: A good quality aged balsamic vinegar is thick and rich with deep flavor. If you use a lesser quality, you may need to boil the sauce longer to reduce it.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
47 Calories
2g Fat
7g Carbs
3g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)