Peeling and Trimming Fat Spears: A vegetable peeler is just the tool. Lay a spear on a flat surface. Hold the tip of the stalk and, starting an inch or so below the tip, peel the thin skin from the spear. There’s often more edible spear below the breaking point, so we peel fat spears first to see where they begin to look dried out, then trim off the end with a knife.
Alternatively, lay stalks in a steamer or colander and place it in or over a pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam until tender.
Boiling Fat Spears: Fill a deep skillet with water, season generously with kosher salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add peeled, trimmed asparagus to the skillet and boil until tender, 4-5 minutes. Carefully lift the spears from the water with tongs or a slotted fish spatula and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
How to Buy: Whether you’re buying thick, thin, or medium asparagus, choose firm, bright-green stalks with tight tips and moist ends. The best season for fresh asparagus is February through June.