Orange Balsamic Asparagus Recipe

Grilled asparagus spears with orange zest
Philip Wilkins / Getty Images
  • 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)
Calories 47
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 78 mg
Carbohydrates 7 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 3 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)