After a long winter, verdant, perky spears of asparagus seem like the first true sign of spring. Celebrate the turn of the seasons with the following dishes, which manage to highlight the vegetable and its grassy essence in delicious ways that won’t weigh you down.
If you haven’t tried raw asparagus yet, this salad is a gateway dish. Thinly shaved asparagus curls tumble sweetly together with umami-rich parmesan, the buttery crunch of toasted pine nuts, and a bright lemon-parsley vinaigrette. Get our Shaved Asparagus Salad recipe.
Cookbook author Patricia Wells created this asparagus and snow pea salad, which makes for a simple, sophisticated lunch when served with crusty bread and a glass of rosé. It’s also a great lesson in how to build a salad based on what looks ans sounds best in the moment. Get Patricia Wells’ Crunchy Asparagus and Snow Pea Salad recipe.
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Another cheffy salad, this one combines asparagus with fennel, radishes, soft boiled eggs, and a whole lot more, including fennel seed capers and a sorrel-anchovy vinaigrette. Get Cortney Burns’ Asparagus Salad recipe.
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This dinner comes together in minutes and is also a great meatless main course if you ditch the chicken and add more asparagus (or a mix of other vegetables). Get our Spicy Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry recipe.
It may not be the first food to come to mind, but asparagus spears can actually be a great bar snack. Wrap them with thin slices of prosciutto that crisp up in the oven and you have a perfect cocktail hour nibble. Get our Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus recipe.
Doing double duty as breakfast/brunch or dinner, this asparagus frittata is perfect for spring, and even better with a little bite from horseradish sour cream on the side. The chives are also nice if you’ve got ’em. Get our Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream.
This elegant but wholly satisfying tart with asparagus, goat cheese, and crème fraîche will transport you to France with one bite. It’s super easy thanks to the store-bought puff pastry, too. Get Melissa Clark’s Asparagus Tart recipe.
Simple, refined, and totally delicious, this delicate angel hair pasta dish celebrates the first of the season’s garlic as much as it does asparagus. Get our Angel Hair Pasta with Green Garlic Cream Sauce and Asparagus recipe.
Decidedly brawnier, this pasta is still springy, thanks to bright basil pesto and tender baby artichokes along for the ride with asparagus. Get our Fettuccine with Pesto, Asparagus, and Artichoke recipe.
Roasted asparagus on a bed of miso butter is a decadent treat; add perfectly runny poached eggs on top and you’ll be swooning into next spring. Get David Chang’s Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Miso Butter recipe.
An easy meal that can be made at home on a week night or toted to a campsite for a weekend in the great outdoors (if maybe not this summer), these meaty salmon and asparagus kebabs are enlivened with a marinade of lemon, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger. Get our Grilled Asparagus Salmon Kebabs recipe.
These might not entirely eclipse french fries in your affections, but they are a delicious crisp side dish that will entice even asparagus avoiders into scarfing down several spears. We defy you to roll anything in panko and parmesan and not compulsively pack it away. Since this is mostly green veg, though, it’s still pretty good for you. Spritz it with lemon and dip in aioli for an even richer treat. Get our Baked Asparagus Fries recipe.
Green asparagus gets most of the attention in the U.S., but white asparagus is a big deal overseas, especially in Germany. If you can find some, try it in any of the above preparations, or turn it into a velvety soup with pistachios and a hint of curry powder. Get our White Asparagus Soup with Pistachios recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Way to Store Asparagus