When you cook with the seasons, spring always means enjoying fresh asparagus. There’s nothing like it! And there are so many wonderful ways to have it, you can indulge and never tire of its unique delicate flavor and vibrant green goodness.
My favorite way to prepare asparagus is to snap the ends wherever they want naturally to break. This keeps me from ever being disappointed by tough woody or stringy stems. But I’ve heard plenty of chefs extol the virtues of trimming the ends with a good sharp knife (about 1/2 inch) and then peeling the lower parts of the stems with a vegetable peeler.
The preferred method of cooking in my kitchen is steaming. My steamer gets a workout during asparagus season since I buy at least one bunch a week for as long as the season lasts. I get the water steaming and then set the steamer insert full of asparagus on it with the lid and set my timer for exactly 9 minutes. This seems to give me perfectly cooked asparagus every time – tender with a little crunch to it and vibrantly green.
Once it’s cooked, there are a million delicious things I can do with it, but I like to keep it simple so as not to obscure the flavor of the fresh seasonal vegetable. Here are some of my most-used enhancements:
- A pinch of salt, melted butter, a sprinkling of parmesan
- A pinch of salt, a drizzle of good olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic glaze
- A pinch of salt, a drizzle of good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice/sprinkle of lemon zest
- A pinch of salt, a good gribiche or sprinkling of chopped medium cooked egg
- A classic hollandaise sauce
- Pair with lump crab and hollandaise on top of a bison or beef filet (Oscar-style)
Cook’s Note: I always want to have more asparagus than we can eat at one meal so that I have leftovers. I am delighted to have enough to cut up and throw into scrambled eggs for breakfast or quiche, pasta primavera with other fresh vegetables, or toss into a fresh salad to accompany grilled protein.
For more great ways to enjoy seasonal asparagus, check our recipe archive.