Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four to six

    servings, depending on the size of the asparagus.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 24 asparagus spears
  • Water to cover
  • Salt to taste


  1. If the asparagus stalks are tough at the end, cut off the bottoms with a sharp knife. Cut off only one inch or so.

  2. Place the asparagus spears, one spear at a time, on a flat surface and, using a swivel-bladed paring knife, pare the spears lengthwise. Leave about two inches of the tips unpared.

  3. When all of the spears have been pared, rinse the tips well under cold running water. Some asparagus is quite sandy. If this is noticed, soak the asparagus for 10 minutes in cold water, then rinse.

  4. Place the asparagus in a large heavy skillet. Use an aluminum or enamel-coated cast-iron skillet. Add water to cover and salt to taste. Cover with the lid and simmer until the tips are tender. This should require about 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the size and age of the asparagus. Drain. Serve the hot asparagus with melted butter and a little lemon juice.