How to Cook Asparagus: 6 Deliciously Simple Ways

How to Cook Asparagus: 6 Deliciously Simple Ways

written by: Mr. Joe Leech
by: Mr. Joe Leech
How to cook asparagus 1 How to cook asparagus 1

Asparagus is a delicious and popular vegetable.

But how on earth do you cook it?

This article looks at how to cook asparagus in a variety of ways.

What is Asparagus?

Asparagus is a popular vegetable that originated from the Mediterranean region.

It's typically enjoyed as an appetizer or side dish, and is popular in Asian-style cooking.

Fun fact: Asparagus is notorious for producing an interesting odour in urine once eaten and digested.

How to Prepare Asparagus

Some quick pointers before you start:

  • Remove dry, woody ends: grab stalk of asparagus at either end and bend until it snaps (it will naturally snap where the stalk has lost its moisture).
  • Discard the dry ends before cooking.
  • Tip: use asparagus as soon as possible after buying – the fresher, the better!

How to Cook Asparagus 1. Roasted Asparagus

One of the most popular cooking methods, roasting asparagus removes its natural bitterness – best enjoyed aside grilled fish or red meat.

How to do it

  • Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)
  • Line a baking sheet with foil or baking paper
  • Lay asparagus in a single-layer on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes, until tender
  • Season with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to taste
  • Serve immediately

2. Stir Fried/Griddled Asparagus

Frying asparagus over high heat is a deliciously simple way to produce juicy, yet crunchy asparagus.

How to do it

  • Cut asparagus into 2-inch lengths
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wok or fry-pan, at medium-high temperature
  • As the oil starts to smoke, add the asparagus to the pan
  • Add a healthy dash of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Add 1-2 crushed garlic cloves to the pan and cook for another minute or so
  • Transfer to serving dish – season with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to taste

3. Blanched Asparagus

Blanching is the simplest and quickest method of cooking asparagus, retaining the 'crunch' of the stalk.

This method is recommended if you plan to incorporate the asparagus into other dishes.

How to do it

  • Bring 3 cups of water to boil on the stove
  • Drop asparagus spears into the boiling water
  • Cover and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes (the thicker the spear, the longer the cooking time)
  • Drain the asparagus and plunge into ice-cold water
  • Season with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to taste
  • Serve immediately

4. Steamed Asparagus

Steaming is a great cooking method for 'clean' eating or reducing calories, as it uses very little or zero fat.

How to do it

  • Bring one-inch of salted water to boil in a pot with a steamer insert/basket
  • Place the spears in the steamer/basket in a single layer (cook in batches if you have too many spears to cook in one go)
  • Cover pot and cook for 3 minutes
  • Take off the heat and place spears on a paper towel to drain
  • Season with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to taste
  • Serve immediately

5. Microwaved Asparagus

Microwaving is an easy way to cook asparagus for the time-poor among us.

How to do it

  • Place asparagus in a microwave-safe dish
  • Add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish
  • Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes
  • Stir, cover and microwave for another 2-3 minutes (until spears are tender)
  • Drain and place on serving dish
  • Season with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to taste
  • Serve immediately

6. Raw Asparagus

Juicy, fresh asparagus is so versatile that it can even be enjoyed without using any appliences at all!

How to do it

  • Use a sharp knife to slice each stalk into 6-8 thin pieces, on the diagonal (alternatively, you can use a peeler to slice the stalks lengthwise into long 'ribbons')
  • Place into a bowl
  • Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Toss and serve

Bonus Tip

Spruce up your dish by adding the following just prior to serving:

  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese (sprinkled); and/or
  • A knohttps://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-cook-asparagus/b of butter