I know it's spring not by the longer days, not by the flowers in bloom, not by the warmer weather, but by reasonably priced asparagus. It is quite possibly my favorite vegetable, and the other night I had it my favorite way: pan-roasted. I started with some lovely asparagus spears, nicely washed, trimmed, and dried.
I melted some butter and olive oil together over medium heat. When the butter started to brown, I added the asparagus spears in one layer and covered them for about three minutes. (The spears were pretty thin . . . if they'd been thicker I'd have cooked them for a bit longer.)
After three minutes of cooking I uncovered and cooked for three minutes more, by which point they were nice and crunchy at the tips and undersides, and bright green on top. A squeeze of lemon juice, plus salt and pepper. Then serve over rice with almonds, toasted if I've been diligent.
Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?