Steamed asparagus, or any asparagus for that matter, is my favorite part of the Spring season. There’s a lot of different ways you can cook them but I always prefer to eat the first... slender green asparagus spears in the simplest form possible, and for me, that’s steamed.
You don’t need a special steamer to cook asparagus, just a wide pan with a lid and a watchful eye so you don’t overcook them.
Lay the asparagus in a double layer in a wide pan and sprinkle with sea salt. If your pan looks too crowded, steam the asparagus in 2 batches. Pour in just enough water cover the bottom of the pan, but not submerge the bottom layer of asparagus. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan and turn the heat down to a low simmer.
Check the asparagus for doneness after about 3 minutes. Their size will determine how long they need to cook. They should be bright green and bendy, not a dull olive color and soggy. They can overcook in a nano-second - this is where a careful eye comes in!
Serve them right out of the steamer, or if eating cold, run them under cold water to stop the cooking and wrap them in paper towels to dry before rolling them on a plate. Serve them with a squeeze of lemon or with our Mustard Vinagrette, Almond Vinaigrette, or Sesame Remoulade.
Trimming asparagus is a pretty basic tip, but helpful to those new to using asparagus. The woody root ends should not be eaten and need to be snapped off before cooking. Hold the asparagus on either end, and bend the spear until it breaks. It will break right where the inedible part ends and the yummy juicy asparagus starts. Or for a less fun and maybe less satisfying way, simply cut the woody ends off — about 1/2 to 1 inch.