How to cook asparagus

Learn how to work with asparagus as the BBC Good Food team show you three ways to serve the delicate green spears – blanched, griddled or in raw ribbons.

Break off any woody ends by bending the asparagus spears until they snap at their natural breaking point. Trim off any uneven ends with a sharp knife then follow one of the following methods:

BLANCH & REFRESH: Plunge your prepared asparagus spears into a pan of boiling water. Cook for 1-2 mins or until tender. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and place directly in a bowl of ice water. Store in the fridge until needed then simply drain and reheat in a pan with a little butter when you want to serve.

GRIDDLE: Place your griddle pan over a high heat and when heated through add the asparagus spears, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 1-2 mins, turning occasionally until tender. Check if the asparagus is done by lifting a spear out of the griddle pan with a pair of tongs. If it bends slightly it’s ready.

RAW RIBBONS: Start by removing the tougher outer skin with a vegetable peeler and discard it. Then with the same peeler, slice off long ribbons until you get to the middle, turn over and repeat on the other side. Use the ribbons in a salad dressed really simply with olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. We served ours with hazelnuts, radishes and parmesan cheese.

See our recipes for roasted asparagus and griddled asparagus 

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