Adults await the arrival of asparagus each spring almost as eagerly as their kids await the Easter Bunny. Besides being delicious,
asparagus is an especially good source of folate.
Season: February through June.
How to Choose Asparagus
Size isn’t an indicator of quality or flavor; thick asparagus is simply from a more mature plant than thin. Look for bright green or violet-tinged spears with firm (not limp) stems and closed, compact tips. When the bunch is squeezed, it should squeak. Avoid stalks that appear woody. White asparagus (grown without sunlight) should be firm and smooth; it has a milder taste and a more delicate texture.
How to Store Asparagus
Trim the bottoms and wrap the cut ends in a damp paper towel. Refrigerate tightly wrapped for up to 3 days. Or treat your spears like fresh flowers: Place the cut ends in a bowl or a vase with an inch of water, cover the tops with a plastic bag, and refrigerate.
How to Prepare Asparagus
Before cooking, rinse to remove sand from the tips and snap off or trim the fibrous bottoms (peeling is not necessary).
How to Use Asparagus
Asparagus is good raw, blanched, sautéed, or roasted. Or broil until browned and tender (3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally), drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with Parmesan shavings.
Real Simple Asparagus Recipes:
- Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Asparagus
- Macaroni Salad With Asparagus, Peas, and Feta
- Brown Rice Pasta, Asparagus, and Eggs
- Broiled Asparagus
- Asparagus With Lemon Aïoli
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.