When I think of spring, I think of recipes I want to make with asparagus. But whether grown in the garden or bought at a farmers’ market, asparagus can have thick, woody spears that aren’t entirely edible. Luckily, preparing asparagus is easy. Trimming asparagus to remove the tough, dry ends of the stalk also helps to maintain the vegetable’s bright green color during cooking. If it doesn’t grow in your garden, be sure when purchasing that asparagus is uniform in size, fresh, firm, and bright green, and that the edible green tips are intact and not turning soft or mushy.
1. Grasp a spear of asparagus firmly in the center and bend the cut end until it snaps. The spear will snap in exactly the spot where the asparagus will be tender enough to eat. You can also use a sharp knife to cut off the bottom of the spear instead of snapping it.
2. Repeat snapping (or cutting) until all spears are trimmed.
3. Discard the white, woody asparagus ends. The prepared asparagus spears are ready to be cooked.