In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Combine beer and egg whites; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Dip asparagus into batter.
In a deep cast-iron or electric skillet, heat 1-1/2 in. oil to 375°. Fry asparagus in batches until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with ranch dressing.
Test Kitchen Tips
A thrifty alternative to purchased garlic salt is to mix up your own: Just combine 1 teaspoon garlic powder with 3 teaspoons of table salt or other fine-grained salt. The ratio works the same for onion salt, too.
For the ultimate flavor, use fresh produce when it’s in season. In
spring, that means asparagus, peas, artichokes and fennel. In summer, eggplant, arugula, summer squash and tomatoes shine. Fall’s finest? Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and carrots, to name a few.