All the Asparagus Recipes You'll Ever Need
One sure sign of spring is fresh asparagus in the produce aisle. Fat or thin; green, purple, or white; the keys to delicious asparagus are freshness and proper preparation. The plant brings a delicately bright flavor, and notes of subtle acidity, to any dish.
In Season: Asparagus is at its peak from February through June, though hothouse asparagus is available year-round in some areas.
What to Look For: Thickness is a matter of taste. Choose bunches with tightly closed tips and no flowering. Stalks should be bright green and firm (or pale ivory for white asparagus).
How to Store: Asparagus is best cooked the day it’s purchased, but it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days in one of the following ways: Wrap the bottoms of the stalks in a damp paper towel and place in a paper bag; store in crisper. Or stand the bundled stalks in a bowl with about an inch of water.
Related: 14 New, Lighter Comfort Food Ideas
Asparagus and Green Beans with Chili-Orange Oil
Infuse olive oil with orange zest and red pepper flakes to give a bright and lively zing to this easy spring side dish.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 wide strips orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 bunches asparagus (about 1 pound each), trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1. In a small saucepan, bring oil, orange zest, and red-pepper flakes to a simmer over medium-high and cook 3 minutes. Remove chili-orange oil from heat and set aside. (To store, refrigerate cooled oil in an airtight container, up to 3 days.)
2. Working in two batches, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus and green beans separately until bright-green and crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon chili-orange oil over high. Add half the vegetables and cook, stirring often, until warmed through and tender, 3 minutes. Stir in half the basil, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a platter. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining vegetables and basil. Drizzle with remaining oil and orange juice and serve immediately.
Linguine with Asparagus and Egg
A poached egg and grated Parmesan on top of tender steamed asparagus and linguine make a light, pretty vegetarian meal. The egg yolk serves as a rich sauce for the pasta.