When picking out asparagus you want to stay away from any bunches with dry, split, or excessively woody stems as this is a sign of older asparagus. When it comes to thick or thin asparagus it is really a matter of personal taste and preference. Thin spears are more tender and sweet, while fatter stems have a meatier texture and stronger asparagus flavor.


Rinse the spears under cool water to remove any grit and dirt. Snap off the bottom inch or so using your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody part ends and the tender stem begins. Dry the spears by rolling them between two kitchen towels.

Really thick asparagus can sometimes develop a tough outer skin. It’s not strictly necessary, but you can peel this coating away with a vegetable peeler.


Uncooked asparagus will stay fresh for three to four days in the refrigerator. The secret is to keep the vegetable cool and damp. Store spears upright in a container with the stems wading in an inch of water, then cover loosely with a plastic bag.