Combine shallots, butter, vinegar, thyme, salt, and rind, stirring well with a whisk.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil; bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Pour butter mixture over asparagus, toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
This was delicious, although depending on the size of asparagus you can probably reduce the baking time. Mine was a little overcooked - in fact when I tossed the asparagus, they all kind of curled up. Great flavor though!
After reading the other comments I decided to use the ratio recommended by one of the reviewer: 2 tsp shllots, 2 TB butter, 1 TB balsamic, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp lemon rind -- for 1 lb asparagus. The flavor was still a little too 'buttery' for my taste, but overall the flavor was very good. Even with these adjustments it made plenty of sauce.
The recipe was so easy to assemble and really tasty. The vinegar, shallots, and butter are a wonderful adornment -- not too strong and not overpowering, as some have indicated. The only thing I'll do different next time is cut up the asparagus spears; it's difficult to "toss" long, hot spears in liquid as indicated in the recipe! I might also experiment with adding other vegetables (red peppers come to mind) and turning this into a warm salad.
I prepare this all the time and everyone always loves it! It is not overpowering. You cannot keep the shallot butter seprate as another reviewer did. It needs to be poured over the hot asparagus and served right away. One of my favorite sides!
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