Asparagus - 450g
Despite what you may have read or heard, it's not necessary to buy an asparagus steamer, nor to bind the asparagus into a bundle and cook it upright in a pan.
For the best results, wash the stems thoroughly in a sink full of cold water. Then trim the stalks and, if the lower part of the stem seems tough when sliced and eaten raw, lightly peel the bottom third of the stem.
Drop loose spears into a pan of boiling water and cook until just tender. The cooking time varies according to the thickness of the stems, but ranges between 3-5 minutes. Once it's cooked, drain and pat dry on kitchen paper. If you're serving it cold, you'll get the best flavour if, rather than cooling under the cold tap, you spread the hot asparagus out to cool on some kitchen paper.
Fresh, tender asparagus can be served raw: use a vegetable peeler to cut thin shavings into a salad and dressing it with a lemon vinaigrette, or serve it whole with aioli for dipping. White asparagus is particularly good raw.