Sweet, snappy, and irresistible – asparagus is an incredibly versatile vegetable.
Whether raw or cooked, it boasts rich flavors and a wonderful texture. Also, cooked asparagus can have numerous guises in the process, from a basic salt and pepper seasoning, to complex sauces, such as beurre blanc.
Asparagus also goes well with spicy dishes and is highly compatible with garlic, chilies, anchovy, and olives.
In short, there are several different ways to prepare asparagus.
How to cook asparagus: 5 easy ways to prepare asparagus
Before you start cooking, take a minute to cut off or snap the spears' tough ends.
It is also recommended to peel the tough outer skin off asparagus if you have nice and fat spears. Let’s take a look at how to cook asparagus in five different ways.
1. Roasted asparagus
Roasting asparagus is a fast way to get some delicious vegetables on the table.
Roasting allows for a slight caramelizing of the veggie’s skin, adding a delectable taste and texture. Here’s how to cook asparagus by roasting.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Use olive oil to dress asparagus spears and season them with salt and pepper.
- Spread them out in a roasting pan in a single layer. Place in the oven.
- Roast until the spears turn slightly brown and tender. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy yummy asparagus!
Note: Try using other spices for seasoning. You can go with red pepper flakes, smoked salt, and cayenne. For a cheesy flavor, sprinkle grated parmesan and drizzle balsamic vinegar.
2. Boiled asparagus
Yummy and tender – boiled asparagus is easy to prepare. Here’s how you can boil asparagus in just a few minutes.
- Boil salted water in a large pot.
- Add asparagus to boiling water to cook.
- Let the spears boil for 1 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from the water once the spears turn bright green and tender.
- Shock the spears in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
3. Steamed asparagus
Steamed asparagus is delicious. Once ready, you can dress the spears however you like or eat them as is. Here’s how to cook asparagus by steaming.
- Boil one inch of salted water in a pot with steamer inserts.
- Spread out the spears in a single layer.
- Cover the pot and let the steam do its work. Steam for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the size of the spears.
- Use tongs to remove from the pot when ready.
Note: Do not pile the spears in the steamer. A better approach is to work in batches if you have many spears.
4. Sautéed asparagus
In the mood for some tasty sautéed asparagus? Then take a look at how to sauté asparagus spears.
- Heat a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cut cleaned and trimmed spears into 2-inch pieces.
- Add butter or olive oil to the pan and let it heat.
- Add cut asparagus to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir and shake the pan frequently.
- To retain the crunchy texture, remove from heat as soon as the exterior turns brown.
- Serve with lemon juice, a fistful of chopped herbs, and your favorite sweet vinegar!
5. Stir-fried asparagus
Use thin spears if you want to prepare the perfect stir-fried asparagus. For best results, opt for a wok pan, especially when making an Asian recipe.
- Heat vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat.
- Cut clean and trimmed spears into 2-inch pieces.
- Once the oil is nearly smoking, add cut asparagus and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously. The asparagus should be covered with oil.
- Add garlic, grated ginger, and hot chili pepper or finely chopped Serrano.
- Cook for another 30 seconds before removing from heat.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
The bottom line
Cooking asparagus is certainly fun and easy. And once you master the art of cooking it, enjoying it in all its forms is just a start, whether you drizzle it with olive oil, season it, or even roast it!
Now that you know how to cook asparagus in different ways, choose the cooking technique based on the taste experience you’re after!