Don't Make These Common Asparagus Mistakes

Mistakes are like asparagus — they're easy to make in lots of different ways. Asparagus is usually inexpensive, always full of antioxidants, and can add a pop of green and distinct, woodsy flavor to your savory dishes (via Healthline). Though their peak season is spring, The Spruce Eats points out that asparagus can be found in most places year-round and come in many varietals to spark creativity and color in your cooking. (They are also great dry-charred, when you've run out of all other ideas and ingredients.) But take note when you're cooking stalks: there are some common mistakes people tend to make when cooking with these deceptively simple veggies.

Bon Appetit implores cooks to choose wisely and cook accordingly when it comes to asparagus. Thinner stalks might be better raw, while thicker stems can stand to be grilled, roasted, or seared without going limp and floppy. And while most home chefs will be familiar with the satisfying "pop!" that comes from snapping the ends of your asparagus spears, Cooks Illustrated worries that prepping your asparagus this way could lead to unnecessary waste, and suggests trimming and peeling the spears, instead.

How to cook your asparagus properly

Once your asparagus is prepped, two mistakes people often make could land you in hot water, according to Bon Appetit: not blanching your stalks, and not shocking them afterwards. No matter how you're cooking your asparagus, you want to blanch them (stick them in salted, boiling water) for one to three minutes, depending on the thickness of the spear. And after that? Stop the cooking process by immersing the asparagus in ice water (a process known as "shocking" the asparagus) immediately after blanching them; this will ensure your spears stay crisp and green.

If you've made it this far, congratulations! You've managed to avoid the most outright offenses to asparagus perfection. Feel free to roast, grill, or stir-fry with reckless abandon. Or, consider hitching your asparagus to its soulmate, the noble egg, a la a soft-boiled egg dip, a poached egg atop asparagus soup, or the rich, luxurious classic: hollandaise sauce (via Jamie Oliver).