Ideally, asparagus should be steamed or blanched. But you can stir-fry, grill, or add them in risottos, quiches, and tarts. While selecting asparagus from the grocery store or supermarket, make sure that the spears are fresh and the tips are tightly closed with no hints of flowering or withering. Let us take a look at the procedure for cooking asparagus in a pan.
Sautéing with Olive Oil
One of the best ways to savor the tender asparagus stalks is to sauté asparagus in a bit of olive oil. To make the perfect sautéed asparagus, you will need to make sure that you do not overcook them. Sautéed asparagus should be slightly al dente. First, trim the asparagus ends and clean them in running water. Next, heat a medium-sized pan and add a bit of olive oil in it.
Now add the trimmed and cleaned asparagus on to the pan and cook for about 1½ to 2 minutes. When it is cooking, make sure that you do not poke or try to turn the asparagus spears. After 2 minutes, turn the spears to the other side. You will see that the spears is browned on one side. Add salt and pepper and after a minute or so, remove the sautéed asparagus into a plate. For more flavor, you can sauté the asparagus in garlic infused oil.
To boil asparagus first clean and trim the stems and then place them in a pan full of water. Make sure that there is enough water in the pan or the asparagus will stick to the bottom. Avoid adding any salt to the water as it will make the asparagus stringy. After you have added the asparagus to the pan cover the pan with its lid. After 7 - 10 minutes, remove one asparagus stalk and check whether it's cooked through.
The asparagus should be tender but still have a bit of bite. Remove asparagus from water and serve them in a plate after adding salt and pepper. If you are going to use the boiled asparagus in cold salads, then it is best to transfer them to a bowl of ice-cold water after boiling them. Doing this will retain the vivid green color of the asparagus and will stop them from overcooking.
Asparagus spears are very delicate and overcooking them will turn them into a very unappetizing color and they will also become mushy and tasteless. Care should be taken to not overcook them. Whether you stir-fry asparagus in a bit of butter or serve them wrapped in prosciutto, there are many ways to enjoy this vegetable.