It’s not hard to see why there’s been a big push in recent years to “eat seasonally”—summer’s strawberries and winter’s leafy greens have so much more flavor (and nutrients!) than their out-of-season counterparts. Although you can find asparagus on grocery store shelves year-round, this spring vegetable is technically only in season from late April to June, and I’ve only recently begun to appreciate its amazing versatility. Hence why I’m writing about asparagus recipes.
From grilling skinny spears at the family barbecue to shaving plump asparagus stalks into salads, there is plenty of room for experimenting, and you really can’t go wrong with this naturally delicious veg. Click through the slides to see how many ways you can transform ordinary asparagus to extraordinary… or enjoy it at its simplest. And I’d love to know in the comments—what’s your favorite way to cook asparagus?
Cilantro Black Rice With Roasted Garlic Scapes and Asparagus by Dolly and Oatmeal
Black rice paired with crunchy almonds and asparagus spears is a textural match made in heaven. Drizzle with some good olive oil and add lemon juice for a zesty touch.
Lentil Salad With Spring Greens, Asparagus, and a Soft Egg From The Year in Food
Use canned lentils to whip up this recipe for a healthy lunch packed with protein and flavor.
Spring Panzanella From Cannelle et Vanille
This salad is the meaning of fresh. Shredded zucchini that almost looks like pasta, blanched asparagus tips, shaved fennel, garlicky croutons, and watercress make a perfect lunch.
Shaved Asparagus Salad by Nutrition Stripped
This recipe by dietitian and leading voice in mindful eating, McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, calls asparagus the warrior spear for its ability to ward off disease, fight inflammation, tame and balance blood sugars, and guard your body with antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Now that’s a good reason to make this salad for lunch!
Spring Buckwheat Salad From The Green Kitchen Stories
If you’re not used to cooking with buckwheat, then get familiar with it because it’s such a nutritious grain to have for lunch—and filling too! This can be served warm or cold (depending on when you make the buckwheat) and is so delicious with the chargrilled asparagus mixed through.
Roasted White Asparagus and Caper Berries From My New Roots
We often eat the green variety, but white asparagus is just as if not more delicious than its sister vegetable. This one is a great appetizer.
Simple Asparagus and Ramp Soup With Rustic Spelt Bread From The First Mess
We have a thing for soup at Camille Styles’ HQ—we just can’t get enough of them and they’re so easy to make! If you’ve never thought of asparagus as a soup vegetable then think again and try this deliciously simple version with bread.
Orecchiette With Peas, Asparagus, and Mascarpone by the Flourishing Foodie
Nothing says spring quite like peas and asparagus. Paired with one of our favorite pasts shells, you have a recipe for flavor town.
Asparagus Tart With Walnuts and Parmesan From Not Without Salt
We’re all about sweet tarts, but this savory version has us rethinking them altogether. Try it and taste the difference for yourself. The homemade crust is especially mouthwatering. You’ll be back for seconds.
Lola Rosa, Asparagus, Fava Bean, and Radish Salad With Crushed Mulberry and Basil Vinaigrette From Lemon Fire Brigade
This is all the spring bounty in one dish and we’re not mad about it. The crushed mulberry and basil vinaigrette really take it to the next level.
This post was originally published on April 17, 2015, and has since been updated.