What's The Best Way To Cut Asparagus?

Spring has sprung, and with the emergence of vibrant crocus buds and the hum of vacuum cleaners ready for spring cleaning, asparagus lovers are ready to dine. Asparagus is at its best for a few weeks in spring, and those who love its distinctive, grassy flavor are enthusiastic to enjoy it in all its delicious iterations. Whether the tasty spears are steamed, roasted, shaved into a salad, or baked into a tart, there is nearly no limit to the way asparagus may be enjoyed. However, the whole spear isn't as delicious as the tender top part of the asparagus, which begs the question, what's the best way to cut asparagus?

Asparagus has tough, woody ends which are at best less pleasant than the rest of its delicious stalk, and at worst, absolutely impossible to enjoy (unless you look forward to some quality time flossing the woody shards out of your teeth).

More than one way to trim a spear

Luckily, there are several ways to eschew the less delightful part of the asparagus (per The Kitchn) while retaining the majority of it for your dining pleasure. Just decide on the recipe and then let that dictate how to prepare the asparagus.

The first option is to simply trim the asparagus. All you'll need is a clean cutting board and a chef's knife. After rinsing and drying the asparagus, just take one spear from the bundle and gently bend it until it snaps. Taking that as your guide, use it to let you know where to cut the rest of the asparagus. Then just toss the ends and you're ready to go with the trimmed asparagus. This preparation is especially useful while the asparagus itself is the star. Steam it, pan-fry it, or roast it. The world is your oyster (or in this case, your asparagus).

Asparagus, thy name is dinner

If that's not quite the ticket (for example, if the asparagus should be bite-sized with your dish), The Kitchn has another suggestion. Continue to cut the trimmed asparagus in small intervals until you have bite-sized pieces ready to be cooked and enjoyed in nearly any dish. And if there's yet another recipe in mind, you're covered.

This last method is especially useful when the asparagus is being served raw in a salad. All that's needed besides the cutting board and chef's knife is a y-shaped vegetable peeler. After trimming the asparagus as in the first method, lay each asparagus spear flat and peel it from the end up to the pointed tip in long shavings. Importantly, keep shaving the spear in the same direction so as not to disintegrate the spear. With so many ways to prepare and eat asparagus, the only limitation seems to be the short time frame when it's most delicious, which is now! So dig in.