Carrots, zucchini, radishes, beets — we'd munch on these veggies raw any day (with an ample smear of hummus or ranch, of course). Especially during the summer, when produce is as fresh and easy as the weather — all you have to do is wash, slice, and dunk. But asparagus? Now there's a vegetable we won't mess with unless it's been properly prepped and cooked. And depending upon your particular tastes and menu, one method does not fit all. There are a handful of ways you can approach this green spring and summertime spear; whether you're looking to enjoy it crunchy and cold on a salad or crudité platter, or softer and insanely savory as a side to some juicy steak. Scroll on to find out which method works best for you and your dinner.
Blanching (i.e. submerging in boiling water) asparagus is a great way to prep the veggie for a chilled salad situation — this method keeps the spears crisp and crunchy, but not raw.
Sautéing asparagus is a fast and easy way to cook the veggie through while maintaining some crunch, but also sealing in savory flavor.
Roasting asparagus in the oven takes only 15 minutes and gives the veggie a softer finish than sautéing or blanching with the option for an even more robust flavor profile (hello, garlic).
Grilling asparagus provides a softer finish, similar to roasting, but some added smoke.
Skip the standard potato fries and get creative with your asparagus spears — no actual frying required — just encrust, bake, and dunk in a homemade aioli.