Asparagus shoots are the perfect spring vegetable before they flower in the summer and become too woody to eat. The size of the asparagus really doesn’t matter or indicate flavor--smaller, thinner asparagus were simply plucked sooner than thicker asparagus.

To prepare, a neat trick is to snap off the end of one asparagus (perhaps the largest, woodiest one) as they naturally break right at the border between the tender, edible part, and the woody stem. Then, use that asparagus as a guide for trimming the rest.

Asparagus has so much natural texture and flavor as is that simple preparations like steamed or roasted with just salt, or jazzed up with a little lemon and parmesan are best. They also pair well with fatty foods, like wrapped in bacon or served with hollandaise sauce. We prefer them to only be cooked for 5-10 minutes (with the florets being cooked for the shortest amount of time possible) for perfect al dente spears or roast for longer to have crispy french fry style spears.

Delta Queen

Stockton, CA

Klein Family Farms and Greg Paul Produce Sales are synonymous with the Delta Queen name, a Stockton, California asparagus crop known for its sweet, pure flavor. Jeff Klein and his family grow their unrivaled stalks in the rich peat soils of the California Delta, which are irrigated with water that flows from the Sierra snow melt, the same way they have for nearly 100 years. After carefully and expertly cultivating this delicacy, the fourth-generation farming Kleins, harvest and pack their asparagus on the same day, to ensure maximum freshness.

Place asparagus root side down in a glass jar with an inch or two of water and cover tops loosely with a bag. Store in the fridge for up to a week.