Take advantage of the crunch of asparagus when you are searching for a side dish or easy appetizer recipe. Asparagus, normally harvested in the spring and early summer, can grow up to 10 inches tall. It contains no fat, no cholesterol and low sodium, according to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. Purchase it fresh from the grocery store or farmers market, or harvest it from your backyard. Cook it to perfection while retaining the natural crunchy texture through boiling or baking.
Boiling Crunchy Asparagus
Rinse and dry the asparagus and place on a cutting board. Cut 1 inch off the bottoms of the stalks and discard. Chop the remaining asparagus into 1- to 2-inch pieces.
Fill a 2-qt. saucepan half full with water and place on the stove, on high heat. Boil the water, then add the asparagus and reduce the heat to simmer. Let the asparagus simmer for 2 minutes.
Drain the water and place the asparagus in a large bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp. of Parmesan cheese and a dash of salt and pepper.
Baking Crunchy Asparagus
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and dry the asparagus. Chop off 1 inch from the bottom of each stalk and discard.
Place the asparagus into a gallon-size resealable bag and add 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Shake the bag until all the asparagus is coated evenly.
Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet and season with salt and pepper. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 12 to 20 minutes.
Line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
Experiment with different types of seasoning.
Use caution when working with the stove and oven.