Tips from The Kitchn

A Foolproof Plan for Extraordinary Asparagus

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

No matter how you plan to serve it, the key to dishing up truly extraordinary asparagus every single time doesn't involve the best recipe you can find — instead it really comes down to shopping and prep before cooking.

Here's everything you need to know about cooking up great asparagus through spring, summer, and beyond.

Extraordinary Asparagus Starts When You Buy It

In order to dig into some really good asparagus when dinner rolls around, you first need to buy a bunch of really good asparagus at the grocery store or farmers market. Get familiar and inspect your asparagus. It's the best way to ensure you're bringing home the best bunch.

What does the freshest asparagus look like?

Choose thick or thin asparagus based on how you plan to use it.

It's helpful at have at least a loose game plan for how you'll cook a bunch of asparagus before you buy it. Will you steam, roast, grill, stir-fry, or eat raw? While thick versus thin asparagus is partly a matter of taste, a helpful way to decide between the two is how they'll be cooked.

Image Credit: Lauren Volo

Prep Your Asparagus Right Every Time

A totally delicious finished product also relies on the prep that happens along the way. There are two (sometimes three) important steps for prepping asparagus — no matter how you plan to use it.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

Pro Tips for Every Way to Make Asparagus

The best tips for cooking asparagus all depend on the specific methods you use to cook it. Here is our best tip for each method.