Martha Stewart's Asparagus Rule You Should Never Break

With Easter just over a week away, the time has arrived to start planning our holiday menus. According to The Spruce Eats, no Easter feast comes complete without some standard goods, like hot cross buns, roast chicken, and a slew of seasonal vegetables. If we want to take advantage of the best fresh vegetables, nothing compares to the taste and texture of new asparagus. Asparagus season stretches from February to June in North America, with April producing the best of the crop. Enjoying this vegetable proves much easier than cooking it, but with a few secrets, you can whip up the crunchiest, most flavorful asparagus spears your family ever tasted. 

In order to ensure the best produce on your table, you have to look for a few traits in your next bunch of asparagus. You have the option of selecting green, white, or purple varieties of the vegetable (via Jessica Gavin). You can't go wrong with thick or thin spears either. Just make sure to listen for an elastic-like sound when the asparagus spears are squeezed together in order to guarantee the produce is fresh.

If you don't eat the asparagus immediately after purchasing, feel free to store the goods in your fridge. You can also store the spears upright in a jar with an inch of water to keep them fresh. Once you have selected your favorite spears, the time has arrived to prepare the vegetable.

Martha Stewart's tip for keeping each spear uniform

In order to get the perfect result, Martha Stewart has some excellent advice to guide any novice asparagus fan in the preparation of this classic dish. According to her Instagram, Stewart first recommends that each spear consist generally of the same length to ensure an even cooking time and temperature (via Instagram). Whatever you do, make sure to not overcook them! If you do have a bunch of uneven stalks, one easy tip can ensure the best asparagus ever.

If you find that you have picked up a bundle of uneven spears, have no fear. According to Stewart's post, as you trim each spear to the same size, ensure that each stem measures about 5/8 inch thick. If your asparagus is a bit thicker on the end, she suggests shaving off the last two to three inches of the bottom outer layer with a vegetable peeler. This helps guarantee a final product that tastes just as good as it looks.

The best asparagus recipes for any feast

Once you have trimmed your asparagus to your liking, the time has come to cook up the vegetable. By roasting the spears in an oven, you can remove any bitterness inherent in the dish, while whipping up a classic side that goes great alongside any roast (via Allrecipes). With a bit of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan, you can take this simple spring vegetable to the next level and create a dish that rises above the sum of its parts.

If you need to cut out some oil or just want a different texture in these vegetables, don't feel pinned down to just roasting the asparagus. According to Jessica Gavin, steaming or boiling the spears proves just as easy. As a bonus, both of these methods bring out the natural bright green color of the fresh asparagus, making them a beautiful centerpiece on an Easter table.

No matter how you enjoy your vegetables, you can always find a cooking preparation that brings out just the right flavors in fresh asparagus. Feel free to experiment with different styles and once you select your favorite preparation, you can start thinking about creating the ultimate side sauce.

The perfect side for this spring vegetable

No classic asparagus dish comes complete without a rich hollandaise sauce, and Stewart continues to have your back. According to Martha Stewart, you can make a rich and airy hollandaise quickly and easily with eggs, butter, lemon juice, and a few seasonings. With a one-two punch of asparagus prepared to your liking served alongside a small container of hollandaise, any guest or family member that celebrates with you can get behind the time-tested flavor wrapped up in this dish.

Give Martha Stewart's advice a try if you plan on bringing this spring vegetable to a table near you anytime this season. According to Stewart, you should be looking for freshness when you're at the market shopping for your spears. Once you've used Martha Stewart's peeling hack, "they should be cooked just enough that the entire stalk is of the same tenderness," Stewart advises.