Spring is here and that means asparagus.

Sure, you can find the stalky, green vegetable in the supermarket almost any time of the year, but spring is time they pop and taste the freshest.

Asparagus can be boiled, steamed, grilled, roasted or even sautéed. For best texture and color, cook only until tender-crisp, and don't forget to trim the woody ends.

Check out these recipes that celebrate springtime's coolest veggie.

1. Baked Asparagus With Toasted Walnuts



Nothing beats the rich taste of asparagus after it has been baked with the rustic flavor of walnuts and given a hint of lemon.

Recipe: Baked Asparagus With Toasted Walnuts

2. Egg in a Basket Grilled Cheese with Asparagus



Not only is this dish delicious, it's the perfect hangover cure combo.  Did you know that extracts taken from the leaves and shoots of asparagus boost levels of key enzymes that break down alcohol?

Recipe: Egg in a Basket Grilled Cheese with Asparagus

3. Rice and Asparagus Soup



This simple soup can be made any time, but it is best with locally-grown asparagus with the sweetness of springtime. It’s also important to cook this soup sufficiently to develop the full flavor.

Recipe: Rice and Asparagus Soup

4. Lemon Basil Spring Pasta Salad


(Keep Your Diet Real)

This is a very clean tasting salad. It’s loaded with lots of fresh spring vegetables and works really well as a side dish or as an entrée.

Recipe: Lemon Basil Spring Pasta Salad

5. Spanish Grilled Shrimp over Asparagus


(Elizabeth Carrion)

This nutrient-loaded recipe is perfect for a spring afternoon beside the grill.

Recipe: Spanish Grilled Shrimp over Asparagus

6. Bacon and Eggs Over Asparagus



This recipe celebrates the springtime staple, asparagus, with a healthy take on the breakfast-time classic, bacon and eggs.

Recipe: Bacon and Eggs Over Asparagus

7. Asparagus Champagne Risotto


(Sophisticated Pie)

Nothing says spring like the sparkle of Champagne.  Cooking the arborio rice in the bubbly stuff with a healthy heap of asparagus and you're ready to celebrate.

Recipe: Asparagus Champagne Risotto