After way too much winter this year, I can’t tell you how ready I am to prepare some fresh, tender asparagus. They are at their peak in the spring and the first asparagus recipe I plan to make is Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Feta Crumble. Roasting brings out the stalks' natural sweetness, and feta adds just the right, slightly salty balance. Yum.
Asparagus is such a versatile vegetable — delicious hot or cold, sautéed or steamed, roasted or grilled. Serve it as an appetizer or a soup, like Pea and Asparagus Soup. It’s wonderful in salads, like Lemony Asparagus Salad, and side dishes, like Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus.
Experiment with purple and white varieties as well as the classic green. The plant’s exposure to sunlight determines what color the asparagus will be. Here’s a selection of ideas and recipes:
Learn to Cook: Roasted Asparagus will get you cooking asparagus with ease and simplicity.
Add asparagus to omelets for breakfast, or serve them sautéed or steamed over scrambled eggs.
Consider making Brunch Bread Pudding with Asparagus and Chicken Sausage for Easter Sunday breakfast. Another great idea is this Ham and Asparagus Skillet Meal.
Make simple creamy soup by simmering asparagus in vegetable or chicken broth. Purée and strain. Stir in cream, milk, non-dairy milk or coconut milk to taste. Season and serve. Here are a few soup recipes:
Irish Cheddar Potato Soup with Asparagus (Not just for St. Patrick’s Day!)
Asparagus makes a delectable side dish for meat or plant-based meals. On its own, Sesame Roasted Portobellos with Asparagus Slaw makes a nice, light meal or snack. Paired with grilled fish or tofu, it makes a complete, delicious meal. Roasted Asparagus with Sesame, Chile and Garlic pairs perfectly with thinly sliced flank steak or oven-roasted tempeh.
Pasta with asparagus is a favorite! Toss with extra-virgin olive oil, a favorite cheese, and a bit of garlic.
Asparagus can enhance any of your favorite salads. Serve Grilled Asparagus Bundles with Dijon-Orange Vinaigrette over baby spring greens, spinach and arugula. Add a whole grain roll and bowl of white bean soup for a truly gorgeous meal. Consider Red Potato and Asparagus Salad for Easter Sunday or a spring picnic. It’s made to serve a crowd. Simply cut the recipe in half if serving fewer.
You can even serve asparagus to your baby. Try our recipe for Asparagus Baby Food.
Asparagus Baby FoodWhen shopping, choose firm, bright green or white stalks with firm, tightly closed tips. Keep fresh asparagus for up to three or four days in the refrigerator. For best results, stand the spears in an inch or so of water in the bottom of a container. Cover with a plastic bag. Alternately, wrap the stem ends in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag.
Do you go all out for asparagus? Got a favorite recipe or a good idea? Let me know.
Originally published in 2014. Updated in 2015.