HERBED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMESAN CHEESE

HERBED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMESAN CHEESE (for six)

2 pounds pencil thin asparagus, trimmed

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley

1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, in one piece

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1.   Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus.  Simmer until just tender, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.  Drain and pat dry.

2.   Combine the butter, pepper and chopped herbs in a small bowl and blend thoroughly.

3.   Just before serving, melt the herb butter over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet.  Add the asparagus and toss gently to heat through, 2 minutes.

4.   Transfer asparagus to a warmed serving platter and shave Parmesan cheese over it.

from Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, The New Basics Cookbook

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