Cooking In Season: Quick and Easy Asparagus Recipes for Spring

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Food & Cooking |


One of the vegetables I cherish the most come spring is asparagus. Not only does it make a fantastic addition to a variety dishes, like quiche or crostini, it is also ideal for healthy cooking. So today, I am going to teach you how to prepare quick and easy asparagus recipes using three cooking methods, plus a recipe for asparagus crostini. It’s fast, simple and will turn you into an asparagus cooking pro in no time.

Raw Asparagus Stalks

Photos via Edible Perspective

Making asparagus can be deliciously simply, here’s how!

The end of winter always seems to drag on just a little too long for my liking. We wait every year on the edge of our seats for warmth from the sun to shine down and for fresh spring fruits and vegetables to start popping up in stores and markets. Asparagus is one of the first spring vegetables you’ll find, but it doesn’t stick around for too long.

Where to Trim Asparagus Stalks

Cooking asparagus: where do we go wrong?

I think there are two main problems people commonly run into that turn them off to this delicious vegetable.

  1. They choose to steam or boil it. While this is definitely an okay method for cooking asparagus, I find it doesn’t bring out the best flavor. It can also end up with a slightly rubbery texture.
  2. The asparagus gets cooked to death. No one likes limp vegetables and asparagus looks and tastes especially sad when it has had the life cooked out of it.

Asparagus After Roasting in the Oven

These three quick and easy methods for making asparagus will enhance the natural flavors and create a very palatable texture. You’re just a few steps away from basking in the the glory of this delicious, springtime vegetable.

Bread With Goat Cheese and Avocado Toppings

Below you’ll learn about the basic cooking methods with a bonus recipe for Asparagus Crostini at the end. I love serving this crostini for a light, spring appetizer, but you’ll also finding me eating this for lunch throughout the week.

I hoard asparagus like it’s going out of style. Because, well, it kind of is! Enjoy it while it’s at its peak!

Roasted Asparagus Toast

Three quick and easy methods for cooking asparagus

The cooking methods: roasted, grilled and sautéed asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus (medium thickness)
  • a few pinches of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil (melted ghee, sunflower, safflower, avocado, etc.)
  • lemon juice (optional)

Step 1:

Hold the base of one asparagus stalk between your thumb and forefinger. With your other thumb and forefinger, hold the center of the stalk. Bend the stalk until it snaps about 1/3 of the way from the end.

Step 2:

Repeat with all stalks, or cut at the point where the first stalk snapped. Discard the ends then wash and dry the stalks.

For roasting:

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Place the asparagus on the rimmed baking pan and drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat and spread in a single layer on the pan.

Next is roasting. Roast for about 8 minutes, then give the pan a shake to roll the asparagus to the other side (or turn with a spatula). Roast for another 4-8 minutes until just tender and starting to brown. Serve hot and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over top if desired.

For grilling:

Preheat your grill to 400 F or about medium-high and grease the grates.

Place the asparagus on the rimmed baking pan and drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat.

Transfer the asparagus to the hot grill placing the stalks perpendicular to your grill grates so they don’t fall through (or use a grill pan). Cook for a total of 9-12 minutes, rolling the stalks 3 times to evenly cook.

Serve hot and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over top if desired.

For pan sautéing:

Preheat a large pan or skillet to medium heat and add the oil to the pan.

Once hot, add your asparagus and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic. Toss to coat and spread in an even layer.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning every few minutes in the pan until tender and starting to brown.

Serve hot and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over top if desired.

Recipe for asparagus crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked asparagus (ends trimmed as instructed above)
  • 4-6 slices of fresh bread (if you’re feeling daring, you can even try making your own homemade bread)
  • 1-2 avocados (use all avocado to make vegan)
  • 6 ounces goat cheese

Step 1:

If using goat cheese, allow it to sit on the counter for about 10 minutes to help it spread more easily. Place the avocado in a bowl and mash well. Add a sprinkle of salt if desired. (If you’re using only avocado, you will most likely need two.)

Step 2:

Toast your bread and slice the hot asparagus to fit on the bread. You can also use cooked but chilled asparagus if you prefer.

Step 3:

Spread avocado on half the slices and goat cheese on the other half (or all of one or the other). Place the asparagus stalks on top and press down lightly. Chop into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Roasted Asparagus Crostini Bites

If you’re on the hunt for tips on prepping and storing fresh vegetables, then our post on how to store cut vegetables is a must-read!

How are you making asparagus this season? Do you have a go-to method?