What does good asparagus look like? Look for firm, clean, straight stalks. Wobbly stalks and discolored ends are telltale signs that they are not fresh. Use a sharp knife to trim only the very bottom from the stalk; breaking it off causes more of the bottom to go to waste. Thinner "pencil" asparagus are too thin to peel. For larger asparagus, I peel them (because the outer skin can be tough) and leave the top two inches intact. Not planning to use them right away? Fresh asparagus should be kept refrigerated. Placing the stalks upright in a little bit of water (as you would a bouquet of flowers, for example) can extend its shelf life. I love asparagus steamed or roasted, with a simple salsa verde. Make the salsa the night before, for best results.