Hints of lemon and butter bring out the flavor of this springtime vegetable. Save leftover asparagus to toss with a green salad or sprinkle with vinaigrette for a sandwich topper.
When purchasing asparagus, look for straight, bright green spears that are firm and crisp. Tips should be tightly closed and dry, with stem ends moist. Asparagus stalks vary in thickness; whether you choose thick or thin is a matter of personal preference. Thickness does not correspond to sweetness or quality. Purchase spears of uniform thickness to ensure even cooking.
Refrigerate asparagus, set upright if possible, in a container holding an inch of water; cover the container loosely with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Or, wrap stem ends in wet paper towels and place the asparagus in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
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