I make the occasional grilled or roasted asparagus, but my favorite way to eat asparagus is to steam it, then season simply, with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. I like to use medium-thickness asparagus – I find the very thick ones are not as tasty, and the very thin ones somehow less satisfying.
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, medium thickness (about 20 spears)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Start boiling the water for the steamer.
- Chop off about an inch from the bottom of the asparagus. There's generally no need to peel them, since we're using medium-thickness spears, but if some of the spears are very thick or woody, go ahead and peel the bottom.
- Once the water has boiled, place the asparagus in the steamer basket. Cover and steam until the asparagus is just barely tender, about 5 minutes.
- Immediately remove from steamer. Squirt lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the asparagus is ready before you are ready to serve it, you should still remove it from the steamer. Steamed asparagus is delicious at room temperature - it's better to serve it crisp at room temperature than to overcook it in an attempt to keep it warm.
- Alternatively, steam the asparagus in the microwave: wash and trim the asparagus. Place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water to the bowl. Cover tightly with a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 2-3 minutes for one bunch of asparagus, or until tender-crisp.