Perhaps the simplest way in which to prepare asparagus is to cook it in salted water and then serve it with a butter Dressing. When prepared in this way, it may be served plain, but it becomes more attractive, as well as more nutritious, if it is placed on squares of toast.
For this dish, secure a bunch of fresh, tender asparagus, wash it thoroughly, and then, as desired, cut it into inch lengths or allow it to remain whole. Pour enough boiling water over it to cover well, add salt in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful to each quart of water, and allow it to cook until the stems may be easily pierced with a fork, which in most cases will require not more than from 10 to 15 minutes.
The length of the cooking is an important factor with this vegetable, for when it is overcooked its flavor is not so agreeable as when it has had just enough cooking. When the asparagus is done, drain off the water, season with a little more salt and a dash of pepper, and, if it is to be served without toast, add 1 tablespoonful of butter for each bunch cooked, allowing the butter to melt. In case it is to be served on toast, allow a small amount of the liquid in which it was cooked to remain on it, add the butter to this, and, after placing several of the stems or a number of the pieces on the squares of toast, dip a little of the liquid over all.
Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2
by Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences (Year 1928)