Asparagus The Versatile Vegetable Use It: On it's own. As an accompanying vegetable. Cooked - Microwaved or lightly boiled. Raw - In salads. Preserved for winter days. In soups, stir fry's, quiches and casseroles. What to look for: Choose firm straight spear with compact tip. How to keep it fresh: In the refrigerator - Keep the butt end moist. When cooking: DO NOT OVER COOKAsparagus should be bright green and firm after cooking - Never soft and limp.Asparagus is a vegetable high in nutritional value and low in calories.