How do you tell if a bunch of asparagus is really fresh? Are thinner spears more tender or flavorful than thicker spears? Since I want to eat locally grown produce, what's the peak season for asparagus, especially on the west coast of the US?
Finally, does anybody have some good ideas for cooking asparagus simply? I'd like to see all suggestions, but in truth my interest is not too strong for recipes and ideas that contain heavy cream sauces, or which are heavy in fat, salt, sugar.
I could see adding a few spears to fritatas and omelets, mixed in with brown rice, or perhaps in a light stir fry. Any thoughts on these ideas?