Steamed, boiled, grilled or roasted, serve the spears with melted butter, a homemade tarragon mayonnaise, a mustardy vinaigrette, olive and anchovy relish, salsa verde, chimichurri or romesco.
Dress them with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, then shower them with Parmesan shavings.
Add smoked chicken for a more substantial asparagus first course or an elegant light lunch.
The salad was brushed with a piquant ginger-laced dressing and topped with crushed roasted peanuts, slivered chilies, cilantro and scallions.
Equally good is grilled chicken at room temperature or cold poached chicken.
2 garlic cloves, minced
Add ginger and garlic, then whisk in sesame oil and vegetable oil.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
Garnish with basil, mint and cilantro leaves and serve immediately.