1 pound asparagus (6 to 8 medium spears per person)
Cut away the lower 4th of the asparagus and peel the stalk. This way the entire spear is edible will cook more quickly and at the same rate.
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a casserole or skillet large enough to accommodate the asparagus in one single flat layer.
Add the asparagus to the water, cover and quickly bring the water back to a boil. Uncover the skillet and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until the asparagus are just tender. They should be just cooked through but still with some crunch left it.
Serving suggestions: For 1 pound asparagus, melt 4 tablespoons butter and mash in 2 hard boiled eggs. Season to taste with salt, pepper and snipped fresh chives. Dip warm asparagus into the mixture and accompany with bread.
Serve asparagus at room temperature, either plain or dressed with vinaigrette and accompanied with goat cheese bruschetta.