how to blanch asparagus
Wash 2 bunches of thin or medium-sized asparagus (about 2 lbs.) under cool running water. Individually bend the asparagus to snap them at the point in which the spear goes from tender to tough. It usually means you lose about 1/3 of the spear, which seems sad except that it’s tough and woodsy and no fun to eat at all.
Lay the trimmed asparagus in a shallow microwave-friendly bowl (I use a Pyrex pie pan). Add 1 tablespoon of water.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap, leaving a small section loose to allow steam to escape.
Microwave for 3 minutes (the formula is to nuke asparagus at 1 minute per pound if you like them to have a nice snap when you eat them. Remove them from the microwave IMMEDIATELY (or they will continue to cook and soften).
Rinse them under cold water until they are completely cooled. Allow to drain.