Popular cooking methods for asparagus include sauteing, simmering and oven roasting. Grilling is another common preparation for asparagus. For a simple saute, cook asparagus in 3 tablespoons of butter with 3 cloves of chopped garlic over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.
When shopping for asparagus, make sure that stalks are firm and fresh so that they can be easily trimmed. In trimming, snap off hard, woody ends with your fingers, then carefully slide a small knife under the ferns to remove. While you do not necessarily need to remove the ferns, it makes for a more elegant presentation.
To simmer, cover asparagus with water in skillet and bring to a boil. Next, reduce heat and cook for a further seven minutes. Drain water and add butter, salt and pepper to taste. To grill, place trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and garlic. Next, drizzle with olive oil and place on heated grill (or in grill basket), cooking until tender and slightly charred on the outside, for approximately five minutes.
For oven roasting, prepare asparagus the same way as for grilling, but preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until stalks are tender. Further flavor finished asparagus with a drizzle of lemon juice and shaved Italian cheese. While some people enjoy asparagus well done or extra tender, it is important to note that the longer this vegetable is cooked, the stringier it gets, possibly providing an undesirable texture.