Fresh Asparagus Recipes

In Season, Ingredient, Spring
on February 15, 2012
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

Whether you like asparagus thin, wispy and elegant or prefer those with stalks thicker than California redwoods—spring is the season to buy bunches by the basketful. Here are some asparagus shopping, prepping and cooking tips to make the most of the season’s favorite:

When selecting asparagus, choose a uniformly sized bunch with firm tips free from excessive moisture. For something out of the ordinary, try purple or white asparagus. The white variety has a slightly bittersweet flavor while the purple tastes similar to green and is praised primarily for its unique color.

Before cooking, asparagus stalks need to be snapped near the base and rinsed. Some kinds (such as the white and thicker varieties) also benefit from a good peeling to make their tough spears tender.

Asparagus can be enjoyed grilled, blanched, baked, steamed, sauteed, roasted and even raw! We suggest grilling or roasting heartier stalks for fantastic flavor and just lightly steaming more delicate spears. And remember—with asparagus it is always better to slightly undercook than to overcook. No one likes mushy asparagus.

For some fresh and fabulous asparagus recipes check out our menu below.

—By Emily Arno, Relish Multimedia Editor