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All About Asparagus

All About Asparagus


The first tender bright green spears of asparagus serve as a welcome sign of spring.

Although it's available year-round, the freshest asparagus can be found from April through June. Asparagus has a delicious taste, is a good source of vitamin A, and is low in calories and sodium.

When choosing asparagus, look for spears that are very green with full, tightly closed tips. Avoid any that look limp or that have very open tips. In general, the thinner the asparagus the more tender it will be. There are approximately 14 to 18 stalks per pound bunch and this is enough to serve a family of 4 or 5. White asparagus has a more delicate flavor than its green counterpart. It is grown underneath the soil which results in a pale color. 

white and green asparagus

Asparagus can be stored unwashed in the refrigerator in a closed plastic bag. It is best prepared the day of purchase, but will keep refrigerated for up to four days. Asparagus is grown in sandy soil so make sure to clean thoroughly to ensure that the tips are not gritty. Run the spears under cold running water just before cooking. Break one washed spear by hand where the tough woody end begins and it snaps easily. Use this spear as your guide to cut the ends off the rest of the bunch. Use a small knife or vegetable peeler to remove any tough outer peel at the stem ends if necessary. For cooking, leave the spears whole or cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Some recipes call for shaved asparagus which you can accomplish with a vegetable peeler. 

peeling asparagus

There are many different methods used for cooking asparagus, including steaming, roasting, boiling, sautéing and grilling.

Steaming asparagus is a common preparation technique as it cooks the spears gently and brings out its natural flavor. Topped with hollandaise sauce it's irresistible. 

Roasting and sautéing in a little butter with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper is a simple but delicious way to enjoy asparagus. 

Grilling asparagus is another great way to cook this versatile vegetable. If you have a grill basket now is the time to use it so the spears don't fall through the grates otherwise a foil packet works just as well. 

No matter what the cooking method, when the asparagus spears become bright green and crisp tender they are ready for serving. Besides being delicious on it's own, asparagus is a great addition to salads, risotto, soups, and stir frys. 

For more great asparagus recipe ideas, browse our Asparagus Recipe Collection.

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I am trying to locate Lemon Pepper Saute Express, a seasoned meal started developed by Lank O Lakes. I love it and am on my last square from the stash I bough originally months ago. I have been unable to locate it again. I think I purchased the pkgs at WalMart, but I don't remember for sure. Any idea where I can locate some more saute express meal starters in a variety of flavors but especially lemon pepper? Thank you very much.

Posted May 19, 2016 by Sherry Hubbard
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Mallory
Hi Sherry, thank you for asking about our Sauté Express® Cooking Squares. We appreciate your kind words! We’re sorry to disappoint you, but these products are no longer being made. We'll share your comment with our product team. Thanks for writing!
Posted May 20, 2016

Cut asparagus in small 2cm length. Pure 5 soup spoons of olive oil in a frying pan and then put the asparagus in for gentle frying. You use three chicken eggs break them in the pan over the asparagus you stir them well you add little salt and black pepper. In 3 minutes you take down and you serve them.

Posted May 15, 2016 by Nikolas Theodoulou

I love asparagus steamed in a sealed foil pouch with spread, salt and pepper. I cook at 395 degrees for 30 mins. I prefer them soft. Yum

Posted March 30, 2012 by Cathy