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How to Cook Asparagus like a Pro

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Are you tired of limp asparagus stalks? Always underwhelmed with watery asparagus? Get ready to learn how to cook asparagus like a pro and say goodbye to tough and chewy or soft and mushy stalks. 

Fresh Asparagus with salt crystals on a dark wood.
Fresh Asparagus with salt. Image source: Allexana, Pexels

Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is easy to prepare and cook. You’ll learn to cook asparagus to perfection with expert tips and tricks for getting the most out of this versatile veggie.

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Asparagus is a delicious and very healthy vegetable that is an excellent addition to any meal. 

You can make asparagus tagliatelle, add it to shirataki chicken pasta or make a unique asparagus quiche everyone loves.

It’s low in calories, and high in essential vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. These nutrients help support your body’s healthy immune system, improve digestion, and promote healthy skin and hair. What’s not to love? 

But cooking asparagus can be tricky, especially if you’re new to it. Cooking asparagus is easy once you know what you’re doing, and it’s very versatile. It can be grilled, sautéed, roasted, or steamed and pairs well with various flavors and seasonings. 

Asparagus makes an excellent option for those looking for a healthy and easy-to-prepare vegetable to add to their meals. You can use it in many dishes, such as soups, salads, pasta, and omelets.

Asparagus is also a great option if you are looking to add more plant-based foods to your diet. It’s a natural source of protein, making it a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. You can use it as a meat alternative in dishes such as asparagus risotto, a great alternative to traditional meat-based risotto, or on pizza instead of a meat topping. 

With its delicious taste, nutritional benefits, and versatility, asparagus is an excellent easy vegetable to include in your weekly cooking routine.

Fresh asparagus pieces in a white mug.
Asparagus in a mug Image source: Karolina Grabowska – Pexels

Preparing Your Asparagus

Before you start cooking, you’ll need to prepare the asparagus. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  • Clean your asparagus by rinsing it under cold running water, then pat it dry.
  • Snap off the rough woody end of the asparagus stalk by gently bending it until it snaps. (This is where the asparagus is naturally tough and inedible.) Throw away the woody ends. 
  • Peel the skin off the remaining bottom half of the stalk if it’s thick or tough.

Cooking Asparagus

Now that you’ve prepped the asparagus and it’s ready to go, it’s time to start cooking! Here are five different methods you can use to cook asparagus, including air frying asparagus:

Boiling Asparagus

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the prepared asparagus. Cook for 3–5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain and serve immediately.

Steaming Asparagus

Place the prepared asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover the basket and steam for 3–5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

Grilling Asparagus

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Toss the prepared asparagus with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill it for approximately 5–7 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and deliciously charred.

Roasting Asparagus

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the prepared asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Roast for 12–15 minutes, until tender and slightly caramelized.

Air Frying Asparagus

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper, and optional Parmesan cheese. Place the prepared asparagus in the air fryer basket and cook for 6–7 minutes. 

Asparagus pieces on a dark board.
Asparagus. Image source: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

What To Serve With Asparagus 

Grilled portobello mushroom steak with asparagus: Grill portobello mushroom steaks and serve them with sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Homemade lentil and vegetable shepherd’s pie with asparagus: Make a lentil and vegetable pie filling and top it with perfect mashed potatoes. Serve asparagus on the side.

Quinoa and black bean bowl with asparagus: Prepare a bowl with cooked quinoa, black beans, avocado, and salsa. Serve with a side of asparagus.

Stuffed bell peppers with asparagus: Stuff bell peppers with a mixture of rice, vegetables, and cheese. Serve with a side of air fryer asparagus.

Grilled eggplant and zucchini with asparagus: Grill eggplant and zucchini slices, and then serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Roasted root vegetable medley with asparagus: Roast an assortment of root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets, and serve with a side of asparagus.

Spinach and ricotta stuffed shells with asparagus: Prepare stuffed shells with a mixture of spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Fresh asparagus sticks on a white wooden board.
Fresh aspargus sticks. Image source: Douglas Miller, Pexels

Tofu and vegetable stir-fry with asparagus: Cook a stir-fry with tofu, vegetables, and a sauce of your choice. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Grilled cheese sandwich with asparagus: Make a classic grilled cheese sandwich and serve it with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

Vegetable bhuna with asparagus: Cook butternut squash in a curry sauce made with a delicious curry base sauce and bursting with spices. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted asparagus.

The Final Word

Cooking asparagus is easy and fun once you get the hang of it. By following the expert tips and tricks outlined in this article, you’ll be able to cook perfectly crisp and tender asparagus every time. Try different methods of cooking asparagus to find the one you like best, and don’t be afraid to experiment with other seasonings and herbs to add some extra flavor.

Mandy Applegate is the enthusiastic creator of the vegetarian website Splash of Taste; she makes meat-free cooking fun and easy. When Mandy’s not cooking and writing, you can expect to see her traveling, exploring countries and cuisines, or spending time with her chihuahua. Download her free 5 x Easy Vegetarian Meals Ebook.

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life

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Freshly grown asparagus tips
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By Zuzana Paar on February 24th, 2023
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About Zuzana Paar

Zuzana is the creative force behind this vibrant blog. With passion as a recipe developer, content creator, food writer, movie maker, and photographer, she poured her heart and soul into curating a space brimming with delightful keto and low carb recipes. Join her on this flavorful journey where quick, easy-to-make dishes take center stage, bringing joy and nourishment to your table.

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