How To Make The Best Asparagus You've Ever Had

how to make the best asparagus you've ever had

Spring has sprung, and so has the fresh asparagus! If you live in an area where it grows wild, hunting and gathering makes you appreciate every tasty, fresh-picked bite. Most of us enjoy the luxury of finding asparagus in local farmers’ markets or grocery stores, so we can indulge more frequently. And that’s a good thing - there are so many delicious ways to prepare it, you’ll be grateful for a longer “season”.

Choosing the best asparagus


Look for asparagus with straight, firm, bright green spears. The tips should still be tightly closed - tips that are open and soft are signs that the asparagus is past its prime. Thin stalks or thick is a personal preference. Pencil-thin asparagus is crisp and tender with mild flavor, while thick asparagus has a stronger flavor and a meatier texture. Whether thick or thin, spears of uniform size will cook more evenly. Allow about four servings per pound.

Preparing asparagus


Asparagus grows in sandy soil, so rinse the spears thoroughly with cold water. Snap off the woody base of each spear by bending the spear a few times to find a place where it breaks easily. That will preserve the most tender parts. For thick asparagus spears, peel off the woody outside part at the bottom of each stalk with a vegetable peeler.


For the best flavor, cook your asparagus soon after purchasing. If you need to store it for a couple of days, wrap the cut ends in a damp  paper towel or stand the stalks up in about an inch of water to keep it crispy in the frig.


How to cook it? Let us count the ways! Asparagus is friendly to healthy eating plans, is full of flavor, cooks quickly and is easy to prepare. Steam it, roast it or grill it. And for the picky eaters? Got ‘em covered! We have cheesy, bacony and crispy-fried versions that deliver great food to the hard-to-please.


Healthy Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable packed full of vitamins (especially vitamins K, B1, B2, and folate) as well as iron and fiber. Keep it light and nutrient dense with these healthy recipes!

Healthy Roasted Asparagus Salad with Citrus Dressing

best ways to cook asparagusLight, fresh and colorful, you can make this salad ahead to serve chilled or at room temperature. The citrus dressing is a fat-free blending of sweet and sour. Have seconds - it's good for you!

The Best Steamed Asparagus

best ways to cook asparagusThe full flavor and nutrition of asparagus shine in this simplest of recipes. A little wine, a little butter and a few minutes in the microwave are the components of an elegant asparagus dish.

Parmesan Eggs and Asparagus

best ways to cook asparagusWhole grain bread toasted with olive oil provides the foundation for this stack of layered flavors and textures. Blanching the asparagus preserves nutrients and that lovely bright green color. Topping with eggs and Parmesan makes it the Breakfast of Champions!

Grilled Vegetable Wrap

best ways to cook asparagusPartner grilled asparagus with fresh summer peppers, squash, basil and arugula for a fresh meal-you-can-walk-around-with wrapped in a whole grain tortilla. Light, refreshing and filling.

 

Decadent Asparagus Recipes

These next few recipes may be a little less healthy, but it's so worth it for the flavor payoff (and really, how unhealthy could asparagus be anyway). Featuring ingredients like aioli, prosciutto, and gruyere, these recipes are to die for.

Asparagus with Creamy Mustard Sauce

best ways to cook asparagusSour cream and Dijon mustard. Do we have your attention yet? Steam the asparagus ahead of time so that it's thoroughly chilled to pair with the creamy dressing that surprises with a bit of sweet and a bit of sour.

 

Grilled Prosciutto Asparagus

best ways to cook asparagusA perfect appetizer for a summer get-together, prosciutto, goat cheese and asparagus team up for a winning combination. Serve these to welcome party guests or as the main event for a light summer lunch.

 

Mushroom Asparagus Gruyere & Egg Casserole

best ways to cook asparagusThis hearty casserole can be the elegant centerpiece for a hearty brunch or a comforting evening meal to enjoy warm from the oven. A splash of dry white wine and a sprinkling of fresh herbs add a European flair.

Roast Beef Aioli Bundles

best ways to cook asparagusNo grill necessary for these sweet pepper strip and steamed asparagus bundles spread with Dijon and cumin aioli and wrapped with thinly sliced roast beef. Tie the pretty packages with fresh chives.

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Asparagus Recipes

 

There's no reason asparagus dishes need to take tons of time! Check out these lightning fast recipes.

Sautéed Asparagus

best ways to cook asparagusHow could it get faster? Asparagus, olive oil and a bit of lemon juice turn this dish around quickly! Both prep and cooking take just minutes and lead you to instant veggie gratification.

Spring Frittata

best ways to cook asparagusCooked in one skillet, this meal will be ready to serve in no time! The frittata is packed with protein from the eggs and delivers a nuritional punch with lots of veggies! A colorful dish for any time of day.

Burmese Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry

best ways to cook asparagusStir-fries are ready in a snap, but this shrimp number tastes like it took hours. The seasonings are quick to assemble, but impart an exotic flavor to savor. And the sauce is gluten-free!

 

 

 

Easy Asparagus Recipes

Does asparagus seem intimidating to you? Well, check those misgivings at the door, because asparagus is just as delicious when made super simply, and it doesn't take a professional chef to completely nail these recipes.

Steamed Asparagus with Shallot Vinaigrette

best ways to cook asparagusEasy doesn't have to be ordinary. The vinaigrette is elegant in its simplicity. Mix it up while the asparagus is steaming, then just drizzle. Not ready to serve right away? That's okay - this dish delights at room temperature or made ahead and chilled.

Catalan Asparagus Vinaigrette

best ways to cook asparagusBoil the asparagus just until tender. All the other ingredients? Simply whisk them together and pour over the prepared simple vegetable for a dish with complex flavors that looks like you worked much harder than you did.

Grilled Asparagus Medley

best ways to cook asparagusFor those times when you want the fancy look without all the work, this combo of fresh veggies, anchored by asparagus, will take care of you and your guests. Tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with seasonings, it needs little attention once on the grill.

 


Asparagus For Picky Eaters

It's hard to believe, we know, but some people are a bit wary of asparagus, especially kids. But anything is delicious when you bread it, smother it with cheese, or cook it with bacon (or all three)! Check out some of these too-good-to-pass-up recipes.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

best ways to cook asparagusAll the flavor of batter-fried yum without the guilt! Dredge the spears in flour, then egg, finishing with Panko and Parmesan. Your crispy, crusty asparagus reward is baked, not fried.

Cheesy Baked Asparagus

best ways to cook asparagusMozzerella and Italian seasoning will remind you and your picky eaters of the pizza you all love, but healthy asparagus (not carb-loaded pizza crust) is the anchor of a yummy, aromatic side dish. 

Sautéed Asparagus with Bacon

Sautéed Asparagus with BaconEverything is better with bacon! Asparagus is no exception. With the asparagus cut into bite-size pieces, there will be crispy bacon in every single forkful. Eating your vegetables has never been better!

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