When spring hits, we hope you're loading up your fridge with crisp, fresh asparagus. If we had our way, it would be named one of the official vegetables of the season. And don't expect to find only classic green spears at the local farmers' market. Asparagus comes in vibrant purple and white varieties, too. Once you buy a big bunch and are ready to prep, remember to remove the woody portion of the stem before cooking. Just bend the end of each spear until it breaks off. Asparagus naturally breaks right where the woody portion ends, which prevents you from discarding too much. F&W's guide provides all the best recipes to help you hit your vegetable quota, from raw salads to bright, blended soups.

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Crispy Salt-and-Pepper Air Fryer Tofu with Asparagus
This quick meal features tofu that's crispy around the edges and tender on the inside, coated in a sweet and salty marinade including soy sauce, light brown sugar, and ground Szechuan peppercorns. The perfect partner? Garlicky asparagus, which also gets flavor from Chinese five spice and toasted sesame oil. Shaking the tofu in a resealable container with the soy sauce mixture is the best way to ensure that it's evenly coated; reserving some of the mixture for drizzling on the finished dish adds a double-dose of flavor. Any leftover asparagus and tofu can be reheated in the air fryer.
Baked Asparagus
Rating: Unrated 2
Asparagus is first baked with olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and garlic, then coated with parmesan butter during the last few minutes of cooking, creating a creamy, luxurious sauce as it finishes baking. When you add the parmesan butter, be sure to toss until a sauce is formed to prevent the cheese from forming clumps as it cooks. The asparagus makes a gorgeous side dish to serve with fish, chicken, pork, or really any protein you like.
Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms
Rating: Unrated 4
Roasted asparagus and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms go with any Easter dish, from glazed ham to a spring quiche. The vegetables roast first in olive oil then finish in butter for an extra dimension of flavor and a nice sheen. A drizzle of syrupy aged balsamic balances the earthiness of the mushrooms and slight char on the asparagus.    Slideshow: More Asparagus Recipes 
Asparagus-and-Zucchini Frittata
Rating: Unrated 1
Chef Chris Behr’s versatile frittata with crisp spring vegetables can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Serve for brunch with an accompanying platter of crusty bread, fresh fruit, cheese and salumi, or for lunch with a green salad. Slideshow: More Frittata Recipes 
Asparagus Carbonara
Rating: Unrated 5
Cookbook author Melissa Clark riffs on classic carbonara, swapping out the pasta for thin asparagus spears. It has that same irresistible pancetta-cheese-egg flavor, but with bright green asparagus at the center.Recipes adapted from Dinner: Changing the Game. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Slideshow: More Asparagus Recipes 
Toasted Lavash with Dukka and Spring Salad
Middle Eastern cooks add the nut-seed mix dukka to olive oil as a dip for bread. Lynch cleverly sprinkles it onto thin sheets of lavash to fold around asparagus, goat cheese and herb salad like a wrap sandwich. Slideshow: More Vegetarian RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 

More Asparagus

Sweet and Savory Summer Fruit Salad with Blue Cheese
Salads get a bad rap because people think, ‘Ugh, it’s just lettuce and dressing,’ ” says chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky. “But salads can be a mix of sweet and savory ingredients, like corn and blueberries.” Lee makes this salad once a week in the summer when corn and berries are at their peak. Slideshow: More Salad RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners
Grilled Asparagus with Taramasalata
Taramasalata is a Greek dip or spread made with salted fish roe, olive oil and bread (or sometimes potatoes). Chef Zoi Antonitsas's creamy version is a perfect accompaniment for grilled asparagus. Slideshow: More Grilled Vegetable Recipes