Spring is the best time to enjoy asparagus, and while the extended winter weather delayed the local crops rolling into the stores—it will be arriving in the coming weeks—there’s still plenty of the noble green of spring to enjoy. When asparagus is this fresh, use it in abundance! Now is a great time to start challenging yourself to get out of the same old way you both cook and eat asparagus. I know that roasting and grilling are the easiest and most common ways to cook one of America’s favorite spring veggie, but it is amazingly versatile in your kitchen.
My favorite way is raw, shaved with a vegetable peeler as either the base of a salad or as an ingredient in one. Throw chopped asparagus in a stir-fry with some local shiitake mushrooms, or enjoy it is as a simple, puréed soup. With its vibrant green color it just tastes like spring!
Asparagus spears tend to be categorized in 3 sizes—thin, medium, or thick. It’s hard to grill or roast those skinny ones, so use them in sautés, stir-fries, or soup. The larger ones tend to have a mellower, meatier flavor and I like these roasted or grilled. (Make sure you peel them first!) Medium sized spears are pretty versatile so have fun and do a little exploring with your cooking method. We’ve pulled together 5 recipes for you to test out as you Aspire to Asparagus this spring.