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Prepare a large bowl with ice water.
Bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the asparagus stalk pieces and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tips and cook for an additional minute (see Note below). Drain and immediately plunge the asparagus into the ice water to stop it from cooking further. Let the asparagus rest in the ice water while the breadcrumbs are prepared, then drain.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs, half of the garlic and the salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crunchy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in the skillet, then add the remaining garlic and asparagus. Cook just to warm the asparagus, about 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and return the breadcrumbs to the pan. Toss to combine, taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve.