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

By Lisa Cericola
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Grilled Asparagus with Bacon and Mushrooms
Credit: 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.