Asparagus is freshest and at its best during spring. Hot or cold, sautéed or steamed, roasted or grilled, this versatile vegetable can do it all. Here are five ways to make the most of these snappy spears in their peak season.
Pro prep tip: Before you get started, trim your asparagus by snapping off the tough, woody ends (don’t toss them — more on that soon). For larger asparagus, you can use a vegetable peeler to shave off the triangular “scales” to make the stalks more tender.
Cut whole asparagus spears into smaller, bite-sized pieces for frittatas, scrambled eggs, pasta dishes, stir-fries, salads and more. You can also sauté chopped asparagus pieces until crisp-tender and top with crumbled feta cheese, homemade bread crumbs, lemon zest and more
Transform asparagus into a silky, creamy soup by blending cooked spears with stock and flavorings like leeks or onions. Remember those woody asparagus ends that you saved? You can toss those in, too. For a special touch, garnish your soup with homemade croutons, chopped herbs or a drizzle of olive oil.
Showcase asparagus the way nature intended by leaving it raw. Pick larger spears and shave them into ribbons using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler. Toss with a citrusy vinaigrette, and you have a simply, crisp salad that feels ultra-fresh and spring-y.
Earthy, mild asparagus is the perfect vehicle for flavor-packed ingredients like bacon, prosciutto and even puff pastry. Serve up a platter of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with dinner — and it won’t last long.
This is the beauty of asparagus: It needs very little prep work to shine. Showcase bright green spears by grilling or roasting them whole. It’s the perfect easy side dish to have in your back pocket when you’re short on time (and ideas).