Nine Ways to Cook With Asparagus

The in-season and vitamin-packed vegetable can be cooked in a variety of ways.

Try one of these asparagus recipes this summer. Photo via shutterstock.

Try one of these asparagus recipes this summer. Photo via shutterstock.

Spring is finally here which means the first round of earthy green vegetables are making their way to the stores. In addition to being delicious and extremely versatile, asparagus are a vitamin-packed powerhouse. Loaded with fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and full of antioxidants, asparagus rank among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to slow the aging process (preliminary studies, but we like the results so far).

How to pick the best asparagus:

When selecting a bunch of asparagus trust your nose. They should bright and earthy. The top of each stalk should be tight and not flowery or flimsy. To figure out where to trim the root end, hold each stalk in your hand and just snap the root end off. The natural break is where it needs to be trimmed.

Here are nine delicious recipes to try:

1. Buttery Shrimp with Asparagus & Cashews
via Season with Spice

Okay, describing something as buttery will send many dieters running for the door. No need to freak out. The recipe calls for 1 ¼ tablespoons of butter for a half pound of shrimp. You can cut the butter in half and add in a little olive oil. This recipe would be great served over quinoa, rice, or a bed of spinach.

2. Asparagus, New Potato & Avocado Salad
via Deliciously Ella

In need of a vegan salad good enough for a substantial lunch? Done. With rich flavors like potato and avocado, this salad could be made even better by adding briny kalamata olives, (make sure you get the pitted olives), or marinated mushrooms.

3. Warm Lentil, Bacon & Asparagus Salad with Fried Eggs
via Sweet Sugar Bean

This is a powerhouse of a meal. Lentils and eggs take care of your protein, arugula and asparagus are your vitamins and minerals, and top it all off with a little splurge of bacon. Using turkey bacon or tofu bacon will create the same beautiful salad, but you will need to add cooking spray or olive oil to your pan before frying the eggs.

4. Skinny Asparagus Guacamole
via Henry Happened

Guacamole is delicious in its own right, but usually carries a hefty calorie count so having a skinny version in your recipe arsenal is always a good idea. This recipe uses asparagus and avocado (it is guacamole, after all), plus has instructions for making your own baked tortilla chips.

5. Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry
via Spicy Southern Kitchen

We love stir-fry, especially because it will last for days (hello, weekday lunches). Using rice noodles instead of rice will cut down on the starches but will keep it substantial. Or you can try soba noodles, made from buckwheat flour.

6. Salmon, Asparagus, and Couscous Salad
via My Daily Morsel

Dill, salmon, and asparagus are a classic combination (try the same things in an omelet) and will make for an envious lunch at work. When buying salmon you want bright firm fillets and you can ask the butcher to take the skin off the fillets for you.

7. Roasted Asparagus, Green Onion, and Blue Cheese Frittata
via Naturally Ella

A frittata is like a baked omelet or a quiche with no crust. They make for a terrific brunch and take very little time to prepare. If you like to use egg whites, feel free, but use some whole eggs for the richness factor.

8. Roasted Asparagus
via Bon Appetit

This recipe is the perfect summer side dish with roasted asparagus, shaved parmesan, and hit of balsamic vinegar. Try tossing the hot spears with a little Dijon mustard or top with a squeeze of lemon.

9. Asparagus Soup with Lump Crabmeat
via Southern Boy Dishes

Here’s a recipe for a swanky dinner party. Smooth asparagus soup with delicate crab meat (though lobster meat will also be delicious). Serve alongside fresh grilled fish or steamers for a late spring outdoor party.