Wash the asparagus, cut off the tough ends, and cut into 2-inch pieces.
Combine the asparagus, water, and salt in a 3-quart covered casserole. Cover and microwave on high power for 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, reserve the liquid. Set aside.
In a glass mixing bowl, combine the butter, onions, and garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
Add the rice and the reserved asparagus liquid. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Stir. Microwave on medium an additional 10 minutes.
Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the asparagus, parsley, and cheese to the rice. Blend lightly. Serve immediately.Servings: 6