Rinse the bundle of asparagus and pat dry with a paper towel. Snap off the bottom ends and set aside. (They will not be used in this recipe.) Place the bundle of asparagus in a steamer over boiling water. Position the asparagus spears so that the tips are pointing upward. This will allow more heat to be concentrated on the thicker bases. Steam for about 10 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender. Meanwhile, make your Lemon Dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together ¼ cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Add ¼ cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended. Remove steamed asparagus from steamer and place in a nice serving bowl, arranged with all spears parallel and pointing in the same direction. Pour the Lemon Dressing into a small pitcher or salad dressing cruet. Drizzle a little Lemon Dressing in a line over the middle of the asparagus spears. Serve immediately, passing the Lemon Dressing for your diners to use as desired. I hope you enjoy this vegetable. It is delicious and also nutritious! I will have an entrée to go with it tomorrow! Enjoy!!!
What better way to bring in the flavors of spring to your plate than succulent steamed spears of asparagus. Easy, fast, and juicy, this is one entrée that can be prepared in a snap and makes for an elegant accompaniment to a formal dinner. Nutritious, tasty and healthy, Betty's version of the lemon-spiked asparagus is truly irresistible.