Asparagus is a member of the lily family and its relatives include leeks, onions, and garlic. In the field, under ideal conditions, asparagus stalks can grow as much as ten inches in just one day.
You can prepare your asparagus a number of ways: boiling, poaching, steaming, roasting, sautéing, stir-frying, grilling, or eating raw
in a salad or with dip. Here is a list of recommended cooking times for various methods of asparagus preparation: boiling (2–5 minutes), steaming (4–8 minutes), stir-frying (3–7 minutes), roasting (5–8 minutes), and grilling (8–10 minutes).
Herbs like chives, parsley, savory, or tarragon combined with melted butter make a great pour-over sauce for asparagus.
To keep your asparagus fresh and happy, trim off about an inch from the bottom of the stalk before storing. (Save the unused ends for making vegetable stock.) You can leave the stalks bundled and trim them all at once with a sharp chef ’s knife. From there, the best way to store these slender veggies is to wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends and place in a plastic bag or stand the bundle upright in a jar containing a couple inches of cold water, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator. The jar method ought to keep the asparagus fresh for about ten days.
Chef Heston Blumenthal, author of the Fat Duck Cookbook, makes the claim that the molecules that give asparagus its flavor are water soluble, therefore, the best tasting asparagus is cooked in fats like butter or olive oil instead of water.
The veggie also pairs well with medium, dry white wines.
Twelve to fifteen stalks will serve two to four people.