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How to Make Asparagus 6 Ways

How to Make Asparagus 6 Ways How to Make Asparagus 6 Ways

Spring means a lot of things: warmer weather, longer days, and an abundance of fresh produce blossoming in your local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Asparagus hits its peak season in April, just in time to toss it into salads, saute it into stir-frys, or throw it on the indoor grill because when it comes to cooking asparagus, it’s hard to go wrong. Certain techniques and appliances can help make cooking your springtime bumper crop of asparagus even easier and more delicious. If you’ve ever wondered how to make asparagus, here are six techniques to get you cooking in no time.

Steamed Asparagus
asparagus with grilled salmon
Probably the most classic way to cook asparagus, steamed asparagus can be delicious if done right. The key to making great steamed asparagus is to make sure you don’t over-steam the spears since that results in olive-green, mushy, tasteless spears. Of course, you can use a steamer basket in a pot on the stove, but one of our Test Kitchen’s favorite ways to make steamed asparagus is to add it into the steamer basket in your rice cooker towards the end of the rice-making cycle. That way you’ve got your rice and veggie dinner portions done quickly and all in one appliance. Generally, we’d advise you to add it in the last 10 minutes, when the rice is almost done, but remember, each rice cooker is different so this method may require a bit of experimentation.

Oven-Cooked Asparagus

Another simple way to make flavorful asparagus is to cook it in your oven or toaster oven. There are three ways to cook asparagus in your oven: bake it, broil it, or roast it.

  • The benefits of baking your asparagus are twofold: perfectly cooked crisp-tender stems and deliciously crispy ends. Baking is done at a lower temperature and takes a bit longer, but is worth it for the delicious results.
  • For broiled asparagus, use your toaster oven, set it to broil and cover it lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper. Monitor it closely and remove it when it’s reached your desired doneness.
  • Roasting asparagus at a high temperature can be good for crisping outer coatings. Try breading it with parmesan and panko for a crispy roasted side or use it as a base for a delightful salad.

Sauteed Asparagus

Looking for an easy and fast way to prepare great-tasting asparagus? Saute it by itself in a pan with oil for 3 to 5 minutes with salt and pepper. And while simple seasonings are perfectly acceptable, more complex flavors like this Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce can really make asparagus shine. For a brightly colored stir-fry, stir asparagus in at the end for crisp-tender goodness or add it into pasta, like in our Asparagus and Chicken recipe.

Grilled Asparagus

Bring your favorite way to cook summertime vegetables into springtime cooking — grill asparagus on your indoor grill. Grilling asparagus lets the tops get extra crispy, while the bottoms get expertly charred. If you have a double-sided indoor grill, throw your asparagus onto it with a little olive oil and you’ll be good to go. If you have a one-sided grill, do the same but make sure to give them a flip mid-cook to get an even char. Add a Balsamic Marinade for extra flavor and use your leftovers in our Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Wraps.

Blanched Asparagus

Blanching asparagus is easy and when done right, it creates bright green spears full of crunch. To blanch your asparagus, you’ll want to bring water to a boil on the stove and then drop in the spears for a quick boil. Chill your asparagus immediately afterward in an ice water bath to shock it and stop it from cooking. Blanched asparagus makes a great addition to a delicious spring salad.

Sous Vide Asparagus

If you’re not familiar with sous vide cooking, it’s a way of immersing your favorite foods in a warm water bath to cook at a very specific temperature. Sous Vide asparagus is a fantastic way to make crunchy but still well-cooked asparagus. Seal your asparagus in a sous-vide-safe bag along with some olive oil and seasoning for the best results, like in this Sous Vide Chicken with Asparagus recipe.

Whichever way you decide to cook your asparagus this spring, you’ll love the tasty crisp-tender crunch of this unique vegetable. From baking to blanching, sauteing to sous vide, each of these techniques will give asparagus a delicious flavor.


Additional Tips & Techniques

10 Easy Ways to Cook Classic Comfort Food
14 Ways to Use a Food Processor (For More Than Chopping Vegetables)
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