Make the most of this wonderful vegetable’s short season and learn all about the different ways for how to cook asparagus – with some delicious (and easy!) recipes.
I tend to go a bit bonkers with asparagus when it finally comes into season. It’s SO versatile, SO tasty and packed full of goodness – including vitamins A, C and K. It’s also renowned for its diuretic properties, meaning it’s great for helping flush your body’s system, as well as gut health and potentially relieving inflammatory conditions. And did you know that just 5 spears of asparagus counts as one of your five-a-day?
During the early part of the season the asparagus tends to be thinner and more tender, becoming thicker and woodier later into the season. You can discard the lower, inedible parts of these later stems – or alternatively use them in stews and vegetable stocks as they still have all that lovely asparagus flavour!
Our top ways for cooking asparagus
One of the simplest ways to enjoy the freshness of asparagus is simply blanched. Plunge into boiling, salted water and cook until just tender – this usually takes just 1-2 minutes. Then either drain and serve immediately or drain and plunge into iced water. This halts any further cooking whilst retaining that wonderful bright green colour!
Blanched asparagus would be the perfect addition to these vegan scrambled eggs!
Another way, and almost as simple, is pan frying with a little oil, lemon juice and salt. You’ll need a pan big enough to cook most of the asparagus in a single layer over a medium heat. Just sizzle for a few minutes, tossing occasionally until the spears are lightly charred. For extra flavour you can also sprinkle in a little garlic powder and/or smoked paprika for spice.
I used asparagus cooked this way for our Spring Greens Salad – mixed with spring onions, radishes, cucumber, edamame and toasted nuts. With a side of cooked quinoa and a divine lemon basil dressing. I’ve been practically living off this the last few weeks, as has Ruth Jane! 😉
If it’s not too warm to have the oven on in your hemisphere, roasted asparagus is also delicious and requires less attention from you than blanching or frying. And these sesame roasted spears with a tahini dressing are perfect for these late spring/early summer days.
- For 2 people use 125g fresh asparagus, putting the spears into a roasting tray in a single layer.
- Mix together 1 tsp oil, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 tsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and 2 tsp sesame seeds.
- Pour this over the asparagus and turn to coat each spear.
- Roast at 180 Fan / 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes until just tender.
- For the dressing mix 3 tsp tahini with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a pinch of smoked paprika and a good grind of black pepper. Drizzle this over the cooked asparagus or serve as a dip.
Another quick and SUPER easy but oh so tasty way with roasted asparagus is a sheet pan meal!
- Mix together peanut butter, liquid aminos (or soy sauce), coconut sugar, a dash of turmeric and enough water to make a batter type sauce.
- Dice some tofu and toss in the peanut sauce then lay onto a baking tray.
- Add to the tray whatever veggies you fancy, including asparagus of course! I also used some tenderstem broccoli and sweet potato wedges. Drizzle the veggies with a little oil and scatter over a pinch of salt and any of your preferred dried herbs.
- Roast in a medium hot oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked.
This is a terrific weeknight meal with minimal washing up!
And finally a little sneak peek of a recipe we’ve got coming very soon. I’m not ashamed to admit when I made this Phil and I just stood at the counter cutting off chunks and eating. We’ve got asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, lots of herbs and wonderfully melty vegan cheese!
If you make any of our How to Cook Asparagus recipes or indeed any of the recipes from The Cook & Him we’d LOVE to see! Just snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #thecookandhim and tagging @thecookandhim in the photo itself (as this guarantees we’ll see your picture! )