There are so many easy ways to prepare this springtime favorite. Here’s your cheat sheet.

Jen Causey

Roast It

Roasting caramelizes asparagus, bringing out its delicate nutty flavor.

How to do it: Snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Place the asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with garlic, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness.

Grill It

Throw some asparagus on the grill alongside burgers and steaks.

How to do it: Snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Combine olive oil, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish or large zip-top plastic bag; add asparagus, turning to coat. Remove asparagus from oil mixture. Grill asparagus, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 2 to 4 minutes or until tender, turning once. Remove asparagus; serve immediately.

Watch: How to Make a Zucchini-Asparagus-Carrot Ribbon Salad

Sauté It

Crisp-tender sautéed asparagus makes a great side dish.

How to do it: Snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Slice asparagus into 2 or 3-inch pieces. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus, and saute 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Blanch It

Blanching preserves the bright green color and crisp texture of asparagus.

How to do it: Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Cook asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender-crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and pat dry.

Shave It

Asparagus is delicious raw when shaved into paper-thin ribbons. Toss it with your favorite vinaigrette for a simple side dish or salad.

How to do it: Choose medium-to-thick asparagus spears. Snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Place each spear flat on a cutting board and use a vegetable peeler to slice it lengthwise.

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