9 Ways to Eat Asparagus All Spring

Nothing screams spring like crisp, sweet asparagus at its peak. Here are nine ways to ensure that you won’t get tired of it all season long.

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When asparagus first appears at farmers markets in late March, we get a little overeager. Sure, the bright-green stalks can be found in supermarkets year-round, but in-season asparagus is a completely different vegetable when it comes to both flavor and texture. Nothing screams spring like crisp, sweet asparagus at its peak. Here are nine ways to ensure that you won’t get tired of it all season long.

Roast It, a la Ina Garten

Ina is the queen of roasting vegetables to perfection with just olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Asparagus prepared this way is a thing of beauty, but you could also up the ante and sprinkle on some Parmesan for the last minute of cooking like she does in this variation.

Wrap It in Bacon

Let’s face it: Wrapping foods in bacon never gets old. Trisha Yearwood bundles fresh asparagus with porky slices — just one piece per four to six spears, depending on their thickness — and ladles on a salty-sweet sauce. Then she roasts the bundles until the bacon is fully cooked and crispy and the asparagus is tender and infused with meaty flavor.



Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop stylist: Robyn Glaser

Make Risotto

This risotto from Food Network Magazine is packed with asparagus flavor from start to finish. The base of the recipe is an easy asparagus broth made with the bottoms of the stalks (which you otherwise might toss!), water and thyme. Use this to cook the risotto, ladle by ladle, instead of plain water or broth, for the ultimate spring dish.

Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina: Giada De Laurentiis

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Pair It with Eggs

Asparagus and eggs were meant to be together. Let the spears star in custardy quiches or cheesy frittatas, like this one with tomato and fontina from Giada De Laurentiis.



Photo by: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2012

Kana Okada , Kana Okada 2012

Make a Showstopping Tart

In addition to tasting great, whole asparagus spears are pretty to look at. Show them off as the topping of this super-simple tart made with frozen puff pastry and a duo of nutty cheeses. Did we mention that asparagus and cheese also love each other?

Chill It

Another perk of asparagus is that it doesn’t need to be served hot. It’s just as tasty at room temperature or in a chilled salad like this one from Alex Guarnaschelli, dressed with a classic lemon-Dijon vinaigrette.

Anne's Grilled Asparagus with Poached Egg

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

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

Grill It

A little char from the grill works wonders on asparagus — just be careful not to let the spears fall through the grates. Serve simply grilled asparagus as a side dish at your next cookout, or elevate it in a fully composed dish like this one from Anne Burrell, paired with eggs, cheese (see?) and a springy touch of lemon.

Try It on Toast

The toast trend shows no signs of tapering off, and we’re not complaining. Make super-seasonal crostini with asparagus and goat cheese, as Valerie Bertinelli does in this tasty dish that's perfect as an appetizer or a snack.

Toss It with Pasta

Chop asparagus spears crosswise into 1-inch pieces, which are perfect to toss with short pasta, like the farfalle in Giada’s springy dish. Earthy cremini mushrooms, crunchy walnuts and a creamy sauce enriched with mascarpone mingle beautifully with this season’s star vegetable.

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