Asparagus Done Simply

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 15 minutes

You can cook asparagus almost any way you like, and it’ll be just fine. The simplest ways to go are boiling (or simmering or poaching; you can call it whatever you like), steaming, or microwaving. This recipe includes all three.

11/2 to 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and peeled

Salt

Variations

To boil. Lay them in a skillet that can hold the spears without crowding, cover with salted water, cover the skillet, and turn the heat to high. Cook just until the thick part of the stalks can be pierced with a knife.

To steam. Stand them up in a pot with an inch of salted water on the bottom (it’s nice, but hardly essential, to tie them in a bundle first). Cover and turn the heat to high. Cook just until the thick part of the stalks can be pierced with a knife.

To microwave. Lay them in a microwave-safe plate or shallow bowl with about 2 tablespoons of salted water; cover with a lid. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, shake the container, and continue to microwave at 1-minute intervals, just until the thick part of the stalks can be pierced with a knife.