2. Fill a 12-inch skillet two-thirds full of water and add about 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer. Drop in the asparagus and cook 1-2 minutes. After 1 minute, test stalks with a knife - you want them to have some resistance, to be slightly crisp. Drain the asparagus immediately in a colander. Rinse with cold running water to cool.
3. Lay out asparagus on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper. Roll gently to coat. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Copyright © 2012. From the An Early Summer Picnic menu.
"The happiest people in the world interact about 7 hours a day," says Dan Buettner, author of Thrive. "They don't just wake up in the morning and schedule 7 hours of interaction. A lot of it happens to revolve around food and the rituals that surround food." Buettner circled the globe in search of the world's happiest populations -- he shares four tips with The Splendid Table.