Wash asparagus and cut off tough stalk ends. Boil in large saucepan in salted water 12 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid; cut off asparagus tips. Set aside.
Cook onion and garlic in oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add rice; stir 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup reserved asparagus liquid. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding remaining asparagus liquid and enough water to bring total amount of liquid added to 5 cups, allowing each to be absorbed before adding another. Rice should be tender and mixture should have a creamy consistency. It will take approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Stir in asparagus, parsley, cheese and salt, if desired.Servings: 6