Lined up shoulder to shoulder, like meaty, green, linebackers all in a row, the asparagus at the market was the hearty sort, not the thin wispy kind that most people seem to prefer. I rather like asparagus this way because it can stand up to more aggressive preparations, like grilling or roasting at high heat--just make sure to peel the skin off the bottom half or so because it can be a bit tough. When topped with my mother-in-law's buttery balsamic glaze, it makes for a tasty and impressive side dish.
Balsamic Glaze for Asparagus
Heat a small skillet over a medium flame. Add 2 T butter, and swirl pan for a few minutes, just until it takes on a golden hue and nutty fragrance. Pour in 1 t balsamic vinegar and 2 t soy sauce. Simmer for about a minute more, then spoon over grilled or roasted asparagus.