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Asparagus Raw or Steamed

Asparagus sliced1

Asparagus sliced

Fresh and quick, serve raw or cooked asparagus in salads or as a side dish during spring.

Cut fresh raw asparagus into one-inch lengths with the kitchen scissors. Then add them to the greens salad to add a bit of substance. Choose firm, plump, straight, round asparagus spears with tips that are tight and compact. Give the asparagus bunch a squeeze; if it squeaks, it’s fresh.

Steam asparagus for a side dish. Place the asparagus in a vegetable steamer over simmering water and steam, covered, until crunchy tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus and run under cold water to stop further cooking. Place on a kitchen towel to drain.

Provençal Mayonnaise

Here is a recipe for Provençal mayonnaise to serve with the steamed asparagus. Prepare the mayonnaise in advance.


  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh spinach leaves, cooked, squeezed, and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced scallions
  • 3-4 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the spinach, scallions, parsley, garlic in a blender, add a little of the crème fraîche or sour cream and lemon juice and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and chill for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
  2. Spoon this mayonnaise sauce over the asparagus and garnish with chives and sliced boiled eggs.
  3. Serve lightly chilled.

Courses Side Dish

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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