Asparagus is low-calorie and spiked with vitamins A &b C. Allow about To Prepare: Break off tough ends as far down as stalks snap easily. For spears, tie with string. Or, cut each stalk into 1 inch pieces. Cooking Spears: In deep, narrow pan or asparagus pot, heat 1" salted water to boiling. Place asparagus upright in pot. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover and boil 2-3 minutes longer. Drain. Cooking pieces: Cook lower stalk pieces uncovered in 1" boiling water for 6 minutes. Add tips, cover, and cook until tender, about 1-2 minutes. Drain. Steaming: Place steamer or basket in 1/2" water (water should not touch basket). Place asparagus in basket. Cover tightly and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and steam until tender, about 6 minutes. Microwave: Cover and nuke asparagus spears or 1" pieces and 1/4 c water in 2 qt casserole on high 4 minutes. Turn asparagus over. Cover and nuke until tender crisp, about 3 minutes longer. Let stand 1 minute and drain.