How to cook asparagus

How to cook asparagus

The top two tips for cooking asparagus: throw out the pot and take out the frying pan; and don't overcook it!

People used to say you needed a special asparagus steamer to cook this vegetable upright, allowing the stalks to cook while the tips would merely steam. I disagree.  You just need an ordinary, everyday frying pan - yes, a frying pan, not a pot - and an eye on the timer.

Here's one of my favourite ways to serve - and eat - it.

Asparagus with parmesan 

Ingredients

2 bunches asparagus

1 tbsp butter and/or extra virgin olive oil 

Parmesan cheese for grating

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

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Bring a large frypan of well-salted water to the boil.

Bend and snap each asparagus spear, and discard the fibrous ends. There is no need to peel the stalk end as well, in fact, please don't -  it's a waste of time, energy and good asparagus.

Place the asparagus in the boiling water, and simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. You want the asparagus to retain its lovely brightness, yet be tender.

Drain well, and toss with butter or olive oil ( or both), sea salt, black pepper, and freshly grated parmesan. 

Tip: This is especially good topped with a poached egg.