Charleston chef Kevin Johnson gives asparagus a quick turn in the oven, then serves the spears with a zesty tahini-yogurt sauce—an inspired take on ranch dressing.

Featured in: “All The Best Ways to Cook Asparagus.”


Yield: serves 4
Time: 25 minutes


  • ½ cups full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cups tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped dill fronds
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. medium asparagus, fibrous bottoms snapped off
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F. In a blender, purée the yogurt, tahini, cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, dill, lemon juice, and buttermilk. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then pour into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the asparagus with the oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste, then toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and transfer to the oven. Bake until bright green and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with the reserved sauce on the side.