Steamed Asparagus with Almond Butter

Source: Bon Appetit, February 1994

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy small skillet over low heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into medium bowl. Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel to shallot mixture and whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Steam asparagus until crisp tender. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover butter mixture and asparagus separately and chill.)

Place butter mixture in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and cook until butter browns, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide asparagus among plates.

Serves 8.