This is a Spanish take — Sherry vinegar and furls of Manchego cheese with olive or walnut oil. If you'd like, you could warm smoky Spanish paprika in the oil for a kick.
Cook to Cook: Because asparagus overcook in a blink, I like to cook them spread out in a skillet of boiling water. This way I can pierce a stalk to see if it's tender crisp and get the stalks out of the water fast. Always slightly undercook asparagus because once they are drained (and even rinsed in cold water), they will continue cooking.
The recipe also explains how to handle a bundle of stalks that vary in size.
2. Slip in the thickest stalks. Boil, uncovered, for 1 minute and add the medium thick ones. Cook another 30 seconds or so, and add the thin stalks. Cook a minute or so, or until a knife slipped into the thickest stalks meets some resistance. With tongs, lift the asparagus into the ice water. Give them several minutes to stop cooking.
3. Spread the drained asparagus on a platter. Sprinkle with the olive oil, then salt and pepper, and the vinegar. Finally, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese over the stalks. Serve them at room temperature.
Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, is studying whether the experience of being a virtual cow will make people feel more empathy. "[Our previous work] showed that if you had occupied the avatar of another person, you showed empathy toward them," Bailenson says. "But no one had ever tried this with another species."