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Asparagus Tonight, I've Got One Shot!

Hi, I recently bought some Asparagus because it was on sale. I've been working on getting my husband to eat more veggies, and I've had some success, but he will only try a new veggie once! I've got one shot to make this asparagus as delicious as possible! I've never had Asparagus myself, or if I have, I can't remember it, so I have no idea what kind of flavor combination is good for Asparagus. Any ideas? Like I said I really want to make this as tasty as possible! His favorite food is bacon, if that helps at all!

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    1. re: gourmet wife

      Really?! Wow, that would be perfect, he would not be able to say no!

      1. re: gourmet wife

        ditto on bacon wrapped asparagus. YUM

      2. You can combo with bacon if you want! One suggestion is that you don't over cook it. You can eat asparagus raw if you want and in my opinion, it's one of the tastiest raw vegetables that there are. Over cook it and it can become mushy, limp and somewhat stringy. There are a few different ways to cook it too: Grilled or steamed are 2 popular ways. It also does well with sauces. Hollandaise sauce is an absolute classic with asparagus. If you want to roast it in a pan, you can toss it with olive oil, salt & pepper and spread it out on a pan of some sort. In a hot oven (450+) toss them in and let them roast for about 4-6 minutes then check them - it may need more time. They should achieve some color and tenderness. If you want, sprinkle some grated cheese on top like parmesan.

        There are different kinds of asparagus; thick and thin. If it is chewy and overly woody you might need to peel it next time... if there is a next time. Your husband should give you more than one chance especially on a veggie that you haven't even cooked before!

          1. Roasting really brings out the sweetness of the vegetable without losing out to limpness. My husband prefers roasting to other preparations.

            1. When buying asparagus, look for heads that are tight, not opening up. Ideally, the bunches will be standing on a wet spongy mat or a little fresh water. You need to cut off the very bottom of the spears, whether they are thick stems or thin. If they are very woody, gently bend the stalk - it will break where it should. If they are more tender, they can be used, but if they are thick it's best to cook the thick ends separately from the thinner, top ends, which cook faster.

              I like to steam them, then when hot marinate them in Italian dressing or another vinaigrette, and serve them room temp or chilled.

              It's considered acceptable to eat asparagus spears with the fingers.

              1. Our favorite foolproof way to do asparagus is very simple. Just toss in some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill. I like mine a little bit charred. And then top with some freshly shaved parmesan.

                If you want to dress it up a bit, I love it over grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with a poached egg.

                1. 1) Roast 'em--break off ends, put on cookie sheet, sprinkle with good olive oil and kosher salt, roast at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
                  2) Wrap roast asparagus spears with smoked salmon.

                  1. Roasted is my favorite preparation, too. A little olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly grated nutmeg make a simple, exceptional side dish.

                    1. Well you have really got some good suggestions here, but I love to make them with garlic, ginger root, and soy sauce. Stir fry with a little oil, and then add some white pepper. Stir fry a little white onion in a very hot pan, then I would add a couple cloves of smooshed and chopped garlic and 1 coin of ginger. Add a little oil, then stir fry your rinsed and cleaned asparagus until just tender being careful not to overcook. This would go well with a marinated flank steak and some rice. Lots of flavor here! ( sometimes I peel the asparagus with a potato peeler first)

                      Another way would to make them au gratin in a baking dish with garlic and onion, topped with bread crumbs etc... Gosh I'm mamking myself hungry!
                      How can you not love asparagus?

                      1. One of the best asparagus dishes I've ever had is from Pepin's "Fast Foods My Way." Roughly paraphrased, cut asparagus in thirds or quarters, depending on their size, then saute briefly in olive oil with with a handful of croutons, another handful of almonds, and some sliced chorizo, salt and pepper to taste.

                        1. Steam or grill and serve with a smoked chocolate-mustard sauce.

                          1. So? Is he a convert?!?!
                            I do them roasted as well, but I make a sauce of browned butter and drizzle it over the top just before serving.
                            Also got inspired one time and took a strip of phyllo and wrapped each one, then brushed with melted butter and sprinkled tops with grated parm & black pepper, baked maybe 4-5 minutes. Great stuff!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                              i'm a roaster.

                              boccone dolce, i love your phyllo-wrapped idea. it made me think of a riff: do a parmesan cheese-straw recipe, and use that dough to make a candy cane spiral. good for an appetizer, like yours!

                              oooh, what if there were finely chopped walnuts or some other nut in the cheese-straw dough?

                            2. I also love them grilled or roasted with garlic. Or roasted, then sprinkled with some parmigiana reggiano and finished under the broiler. Or lightly steamed, cooled, and wrapped with prosciutto.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Marge

                                I love it and can eat it all the time, provided it's on sale. Or in season. Or best yet, in season AND on sale. I wash it, snap the ends and either lay it out on a plate whole, or slice it and put it in a bowl, cover it with plastic and microwave it. NO WATER. Start out 30 seconds for very thin and take it from there. IMHO overcooked asparagus is ruined and frozen or (aaackk!) canned is a sin.

                                Since my daughter THINKS she doesn't like it, I will then briefly sauté it in either butter or olive oil with fresh ground pepper and a little lemon juice. Sometimes I sprinkle it with a little parm. FYI-this method is only about 40 extra calories if you use OO.

                                All this roasting sounds so delicious I have to try it next time.