Roasted asparagus. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Asparagus is a delicious perennial vegetable that, come early spring, is inexpensive and plentifully available in the grocery store thanks to crops coming in from California and Mexico.

Some home chefs, though, turn their nose up at asparagus — perhaps because they cooked it to the point of limp stringiness, or because of the lingering smell it leaves in your pee (yes, this is a scientifically-verified thing). If you have otherwise enjoyed asparagus at restaurants and cookouts, though, perhaps it’s time to give cooking it another shot.

Here are 7 flavorful ways to cook asparagus that take advantage of these scrumptious speared shoots.

Easy roasted asparagus

If you are new to asparagus, this recipe is a great way to get started. Arrange trimmed stalks of asparagus on a non-stick baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then roast them until they’re tender for asparagus that are bright, tender and light. You’ll want to enjoy the asparagus soon after purchasing, and be sure to trim the woody tips just before cooking. This easy roasted asparagus makes an amazing side dish for almost any meal.

Crunchy asparagus salad

Roasted red pepper, basil, pecans and Dijon mustard may not seem like natural partners, but they turn simple asparagus into a burst of flavorful deliciousness. Adding that to a bed of mixed greens brings the whole dish together. Check out this asparagus salad recipe that is healthy and delicious.

Cheesy asparagus

What vegetable isn’t made more delicious with cheese? Try this recipe for cheesy asparagus with cheddar and breadcrumbs to sneak some vegetables into your macaroni and cheese-loving child’s diet — or, perhaps, your own.

Blender hollandaise with asparagus

Blender hollandaise sauce is an easy recipe to make for drizzling on spring vegetables. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

It can seem like gilding the lily to add anything to fresh asparagus lightly sautéed in butter and olive oil. However, this hollandaise sauce is luxurious on asparagus and easy to make in a blender. Here is how to craft blender hollandaise sauce to make that perfectly steamed or roasted asparagus a little more decadent.

Italian scrambled eggs with asparagus and ham

Asparagus for breakfast may seem absurd, but combined with smoky ham and creamy eggs, it is to die for. Try this recipe for Italian scrambled eggs with asparagus and ham the next time you make a delicious brunch.

Steak and asparagus stir fry

Alongside umami-rich mushrooms and savory steak, asparagus takes on an unconventional role in a scrumptious stir fry laden with classic Asian flavors: soy sauce, peanut oil, chili paste and ginger. As an added bonus, this recipe for steak and asparagus stir fry includes wine pairings for the notoriously tricky-to-match asparagus.

Asparagus soup

Asparagus soup is an easy, fresh and flavorful dish that puts fresh asparagus to good use. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Asparagus makes a wonderful, flavorful base for soup. Cook the asparagus in broth until the vegetable is silky smooth and tender, add milk or cream and a little dry sherry for balance. You can use as many stalks of asparagus as you have people to feed, four stalks per person on average. Serve this asparagus soup on its own for dinner with good old crusty bread, or in a mug for lunch.

Whether you are an asparagus devotee or a skeptic, these recipes will show you the many ways that asparagus can be prepared in your home kitchen.