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Sure, you can steam asparagus, but here are 5 other ways to enjoy it
Spring is here as asparagus starts popping up in farmers markets and grocery store produce displays. Simply steamed, asparagus makes a great side dish to any meal, but the slim stalks can be enjoyed other ways. Here are five cooking methods to try. - photo by Meredith Cook
One of the many signs of spring is when asparagus starts popping up in farmers markets and grocery store produce displays. Its long stalks, ranging from pencil-thin to thick and hearty, just beg to be grilled, roasted, steamed or served in a seasonal salad. According to Cooking Light, asparagus season runs from February through June with its peak in April. Both nutrient-dense and versatile, asparagus is a great side dish or can even have a starring role at mealtime. Here are a few ways to cook and prepare asparagus that will keep you coming back to the farmers market for more all season long.

On the grill

Grilled asparagus is a simple and satisfying side to any grilled meat, but what's not so satisfying is watching the asparagus fall through the grates of the grill. To avoid this, prepare the asparagus for the grill by skewering several stalks together on wooden skewers. Take two wooden skewers and use each one to poke through each end of an asparagus stalk. Repeat with three or four stalks of asparagus. The asparagus rafts can then be grilled with ease, ensuring that every last piece makes it onto the plate.

In a salad

Get out a potato peeler and the freshest asparagus you can find and make a beautiful seasonal salad. A recipe on the food website gives instructions to coat asparagus ribbons in a lemon Parmesan vinaigrette, and the result is as attractive as it is flavorful.

At brunch

Added whole to a quiche, asparagus makes an eye-catching addition to a springtime brunch dish. The asparagus goat cheese and chive quiche from is one to try for your next get-together.

French fried

See you in the fall, sweet potato fries. Theres a new french fry in town for spring, and its name is asparagus. With its slender shape, why not try making baked asparagus fries? A recipe from Closet Cooking calls for each stalk of asparagus to be coated with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan and baked until crisp.

With takeout

Asparagus might just be what you need with cashew chicken. An Asian asparagus recipe from The Yummy Life cooking blog is bursting with all the flavors of traditional spicy green beans but uses asparagus instead. Soy, ginger, honey, Sriracha and sesame are combined to make a spicy, sweet and flavorful sauce for steamed asparagus.
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