Microwave steaming not only cooks quickly and neatly, it also retains more nutrients. Cook the asparagus just until crisply tender.
You will need:
Rinse the asparagus in the sink. To remove the tough woody stem sections, hold an asparagus spear with one hand in the middle and the other at the stem and bend until the spear snaps. Discard the end section and place the spear in the dish. Repeat with all the spears.
Sprinkle a dash of salt on the asparagus. Cover the dish with the plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of the spears. Stir the asparagus and test for doneness: they should be crisply tender. If more time is needed, cover as before, then cook in 30 to 45 second intervals, rearranging the spears each time, until crisply tender—be careful not to overcook: it's better to undercook them than to cook too long. Refrigerate covered until ready to use.
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