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Savor the Season Asparagus

ham and asparagus squares
Asparagus is a great ingredient for tasty sides or the main dish for a flavorful springtime dinner. MORE+ LESS-

Steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed, there's no wrong way to enjoy the awesome flavor of asparagus. Check out our recipes and learn a tip or two for adding the tender stalks to your meals.

Did You Know?

Asparagus contains more Folic Acid than any other vegetable. Asparagus is available in three colors: white, purple and green. A native of Greece, asparagus has been around for about 2,500 years.

Selecting Asparagus

Ensure freshness by selecting stalks that are firm and fresh with tightly closed tips. The larger the diameter of the spears, the more tender they will be – though you might have to peel those thick stalks with a veggie peeler.

Prepping Asparagus

Remove the tough ends by cutting with a knife or snapping by hand – spears will naturally break where color fades to white. To remove sand and dirt, put the spears in a bowl of warm water, then rinse. Most asparagus does not need to be peeled, but thick spears with tough skin are the exception. Use a using a vegetable peeler. Don't peel the tips.

Cooking Asparagus


Trim ends and boil in salted water for 5-8 minutes. Stalks should be crisp and tender, so be careful not to cook too long.


Steam asparagus upright (on its ends) using an asparagus steamer for 2 to 6 minutes, or cut into stalks into 3 inch diagonal pieces and place in a steaming basket for 2 to 8 minutes. You can also steam asparagus in a double boiler or percolator, like this: Tie spears together, stand upright with the tips 1 to 2 inches above boiling water and cook covered for 5 to 8 minutes.


Cut pieces diagonally into 2 inch pieces, place in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat and stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes. 


Pat stalks dry and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil or vegetable oil over stalks and roll to evenly coat each stalk. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in an oven at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.


Prepare stalks just like you do for grilling (see above), transfer from baking sheet to grill positioning stalks perpendicular to grill grates and flip every few minutes for even grilling. Asparagus is done when browned and still crisp.


Place asparagus in a microwave-safe dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on high for 5-7 minutes stirring every 2 -3 minutes.

Storing Asparagus

Do not wash asparagus before storing. Instead, wash just before using. To keep it fresh, wrap stalks in a moist paper towel, stand upright and refrigerate in 2 to 3 inches of water, covered in a loose plastic bag. Fresh asparagus will keep 3 to 4 days.