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Different ways you can prepare, cut, peel asparagus

Be sure to wash asparagus thoroughly before using, to remove any sand or grit.

Asparagus spears can be dry and tough at the bottom. To trim the spears, use a sharp knife to slice off an inch from the bottom. Alternatively, you can bend the bottom part of a spear until the woody part snaps off. If the stalk seems tough or woody, you can peel the end with a vegetable peeler.

Asparagus can be sliced into 1-inch pieces for a stir-fry, chopped into small pieces for pasta, or just left whole. Another option is to slice asparagus into paper-thin pieces, using a vegetable peeler or mandolin; a delicious addition to salads.

1 pound of asparagus = 16 to 20 spears, approximately 2 cups chopped

You can cook asparagus by steaming, boiling, microwaving, oven roasting, or stir-frying:

How to Boil: Bring water to boil in a skillet or saucepan. Carefully add asparagus to pan and continue to boil uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes.

How to Microwave: Place 1 lb. washed asparagus spears in a microwave-safe dish. Add 2 tbsp. water and cover. Cook at HIGH for 4 to 6 minutes, rearranging spears once so bottom spears are moved to top until tender crisp. Keep covered until ready to serve.

How to Steam: Lay asparagus in a steamer basket and place over boiling water in a saucepan. Cover and steam for 5 to 7 minutes, until asparagus is tender-crisp.

How to Stir-fry: Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and cook in skillet or wok, using 1 to 2 tbsp. of butter or oil, for 5 to 7 minutes.

How to Roast: Arrange 1 or 2 lbs. of asparagus spears in a single layer in a large shallow baking dish. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tbsp. vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 425 °F (218 °C) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender but still slightly firm. Use the same method on the BBQ using a piece of aluminum foil to cover the grates.

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