Follow these steps to enjoy fresh, tasty asparagus.
Step 1: Buy it Choose asparagus that is bright green and not dry or wilted. You'll need three to five spears per serving, depending on size and thickness.
Step 2: Trim it Cut off the bottom ends of the stalks, about one-third of each spear. If the spears are thick, use a vegetable peeler to peel them to the same thickness as the tips, and rinse well.
Step 3: Boil it Boil asparagus for more tender stalks. Bring one half inch of water to a boil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the asparagus in a single layer, reduce heat, and then simmer until tender, for two to five minutes.
TIP: Avoid overcooking asparagus. If cooked too long, asparagus will turn dark and mushy.
Step 4: Steam it Steam asparagus for a crisper result. Stack trimmed stalks two to three deep in a rectangular, microwave-safe dish. Add two tablespoons of water, and then cover and cook on high power for two and a half to three minutes.
Step 5: Roast it Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and arrange the asparagus on a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and top with minced garlic. Roast for about 10 minutes.
TIP: Roasting your asparagus brings out a caramelized, nutty flavor. Try grilling it for a similar effect.
Step 6: Serve it Serve your asparagus with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!
FACT: Did you know? The ancient Greeks grew asparagus as a medicine to cure toothaches and prevent bee stings.