The Asparagus Motto: The Simpler, The Better — Sensational Sides

It doesn't take much for asparagus to shine. Enjoy this in-season veggie without any distractions with spring-forward recipes that call for fewer than 10 ingredients.

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Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

There's a time and a place for a really involved recipe — and cooking with fresh, seasonal asparagus in springtime is not one of those times. It doesn't take much for a side of asparagus to shine. When in-season asparagus is simply roasted, steamed or grilled, its innate flavors are given the chance to come out without any distractions. In the spirit of loving asparagus in its truest state, each of these spring-focused recipes is as simple as it gets, using just eight ingredients at the very most.

After roasting in-season spears the old-fashioned way, toss with a vibrant vinaigrette to brighten it all up. Melissa d'Arabian's wholesome Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette gets a little zest from Dijon mustard and fresh lemon juice, and it can be served hot or cold for ultra-easy eating.

With just four ingredients on the roster, Ina Garten's Roasted Asparagus reins in more than 300 reviews and a five-star rating. Simply drizzle fresh asparagus with quality olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, as well as freshly ground black pepper, and roast until tender but still crisp. Watch Ina Garten make it herself and you'll never have lackluster asparagus again.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles: Rachael Ray

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles may look elegant enough for a dinner party, but Rachael Ray's recipe takes just 18 minutes and five ingredients. When the bacon-cloaked asparagus are set in the oven under high heat, the bacon crisps up as its saltiness permeates over the spears.

Making a casserole might sound intensive as far as "easy sides" go, but Trisha Yearwood's Asparagus Casserole is anything but. With just eight ingredients, including the asparagus, this comforting casserole comes to the table with a topping of cheese sauce, hard-boiled eggs and a saltine cracker crumb topping without taking longer than an hour.



Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

When you add high-impact ingredients like Kalamata olives, fresh basil and garlic to a veggie side, you know there's going to be a quality flavor return. Food Network Kitchen's Sauteed Asparagus with Olives and Basil takes just 20 minutes from start to finish, and it'll vanish from the table in half the time, if that.

Get more asparagus recipes from our friends:

Dishing with Divya: Mock Guacamole with Asparagus

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Asparagus Nicoise

The Cultural Dish: Asparagus Milanese

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