Marinated Asparagus _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- When planning a special dinner, save time with easy, make-ahead Marinated Asparagus.

If you’re having company over, it’s helpful to have part of the meal made ahead of time and in the refrigerator. This easy and different recipe for cold Marinated Asparagus is from Donna Montgomery. Serve it as a side vegetable or as an appetizer.

Pickle relish adds a bit of sweetness to the tarragon-vinegar marinade.

Steam the asparagus on the stove or in the microwave and time it according to how done you like them. I’ve been enjoying the fresh summer asparagus that are a little larger than the pencil thin ones.

According to the modern manners experts, it’s proper to pick up asparagus with your fingers depending on how they’re cooked.

If they’re firm and not heavily sauced or if the sauce only covers the tips, it’s okay to use your fingers. If the asparagus are longer, limp and covered with sauce, use a fork and knife to cut the stalk into smaller pieces.

If everything else on the plate is eaten with a knife and fork, use them for the asparagus also. If the meal is fancy or if you’re ever in doubt, use utensils to cut the asparagus.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at