How to Cook Asparagus Pretty Close to Perfect

Categories: How To, Vegetarian

Asparagus doesn't have to be peeled, unless it's thicker than a pencil.

Cooking Asparagus

1. Boil ½ cup of water in a separate pan or tea kettle.

2. Place the spears in a skillet or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Turn the heat on high.

3. Add the ½ cup of hot water to the asparagus pan, clamp the lid on tight, and cook it on high heat for 5 minutes.

4. After 5 minutes, drain the remaining water, turn the heat to medium, and return the pan to the stove.
Add a few fat pats of butter, and roll the spears of asparagus around to slightly sauté them in the melted butter.

5. Move the spears from the pan to a serving dish, and pour any remaining butter over the asparagus.
Salt and pepper the asparagus, and serve.

The asparagus will come out a vibrant green--not the olive color of overcooked spears. It won't be limp, and it won't be tough, either. A hollandaise or other white sauce can be poured over the spears, but asparagus cooked this way will taste great with a simple dusting of finely-minced parsley, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, or a dip into Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise.

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James Rains
James Rains

Perfect asparagus only needs two additional ingredients: butter and Tony Chachere's.

Bruce_Are topcommenter

Or rub it with olive oil (or better yet walnut oil) and salt and pepper and bake it until it's bright green and somewhat tender.


Or just steam it for five minutes--very easy and no need for 200 calories of butter!


At a River Oaks book signing, I heard Julia Child (aged 90) say, "Oh, butter never hurt anyone."

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