I'm starting easy, with a classic. I make this for the kid, who eats a pound of asparagus every time I cook this.
Start by buying nice fresh crisp sort of skinny asparagus. Stay away from fat limp or wilty asparagus that's been hanging around the produce aisle too long. I like really skinny myself, thinner than a pencil, but suit yourself.
Next, wash and blot dry. Cold cold wash. While you're doing this, turn on the broiler part of your oven -- broily hot, hot as it will go.
Next, snap off the fat end, Throw away or feed to the guinea pig. Keep the top bit -- that end that snaps off naturally. Make sure you've got the tip ends really dry.
Put these ends in a big old shallow pan. You don't want them crowded. If you've got lots of ends, use a bigger pan. I line the pan with foil because I hate scrubbing pans, but whatever you want to do.
Using really, really, really good olive oil -- this is key, get the best oil your local shops will sell (given that I live in Fuck Smith, I gnash my teeth at this point; if you are lucky and live somewhere civilized, I hate you) -- drizzle about a tablespoonful of olive oil over the tips; a little more or less depending on how many tips you have. You want them nicely oily, but not drippy. Think of a hunky guy oiled up at the beach: that's what you're after.
Sprinkle some Kosher salt on your oily guy -- uh, tips. More or less salt depending on salty you like your guys.
Now pop your tips under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes. When it smells lovely, it is lovely. Whisk it out and eat all crunchy and hot.
These do not keep. They are no good at all cold or reheated. Be prepared to eat five to seven minutes after you begin cooking.
I like them all on their own, but they go fine with chicken or lamb if you can get the timing right. Excellent as an appetizer, too.