Perfect Asparagus

Overcooking asparagus ruins it – it takes no more than five minutes to cook to perfection.

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Serves: 8


  • 2-3 big handfuls asparagus spears (about 6 per person)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Snap the tough ends from the asparagus spears (the tough bases can be boiled for stock).
  2. Place water, butter and salt in a large pot or frypan that is wide enough to hold the asparagus lying flat, and bring to a boil.
  3. Once water boils, add asparagus, cover and cook until just tender (3-5 minutes, depending on thickness).
  4. Drain well, pile onto a serving platter and serve at once.


  • To prepare asparagus, snap the spears as near to the base as they will allow – this finds the spot where they change from tender to tough.
  • It only takes about 48 hours for asparagus to grow from a little tip to a spear ready to harvest. Look for firm, tight heads and crisp stems and store with the cut ends in cold water, like bulb flowers.

This recipe is from new TV series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook: Through the Seasons. For more great Annabel Langbein recipes see