Spring is here, and for many that means barbecue season is also here! This time of year a large number of people try new vegetables, meats, etc. I personally LOVE asparagus. I have been asked numerous times how to cook this amazing vegetable…which leads me to this blog post. You can make the most of your asparagus by learning how to buy and cook it properly.
How do I store Asparagus?
This really depends on how quickly you plan to eat it. If you plan on cooking your asparagus within a day or two from when you purchased it, it will keep in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. If you plan on cooking your asparagus in a few days (longer than 2 days from when you purchased it) you will need to store it in your refrigerator in standing water (I use either a large cup or a Tupperware bowl) and cover the tips of the asparagus with a damp paper towel. The damp paper towel prevents the tips from drying or falling off.
How do I cut Asparagus?
Did you know that you do not need to use a knife to cut the bottoms off? Asparagus has a natural breaking point. Simply hold the stalk of asparagus in your hand and bend it – where it snaps off is its breaking point. If the stalks are too thick for your liking, you can thin them out by gently peeling them with a vegetable peeler.
It’s important to take note that thick stalks have the most flavor, while thin stalks do not require peeling. Select your asparagus according to your personal taste preference.
How do I Blanche Asparagus?
It’s important to learn the proper technique for blanching asparagus – You will need to bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, you need to drop the stalks of asparagus (broken and peeled if desired) into the water and boil until they turn a bright-green color and are still crisp-tender. (The crispness will depend on your personal preference as well…some like their asparagus really crisp while others prefer it extremely tender.) Typically, asparagus cooks in 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve the asparagus immediately. If you plan on serving it later – place the blanched asparagus in ice water, then drain, pat dry with a paper towel and wrap it (using the paper towel) and place it in your refrigerator.
How do I Roast or Grill Asparagus?
My favorite way to cook asparagus is to roast it. Cut and/or peel your asparagus as described above. Place a few tablespoons of oil (olive or coconut is best for you) and a 1/2 TB of Mrs. Dash (or your seasonings of choice) into a large zip-top bag. Drop in your asparagus and shake to cover. Lay on a baking sheet and place in the oven on 250. Cook until tender, about 20 mins. Mouthwatering and easy to clean up!
If you have favorite recipes you use asparagus in, I would love if you shared them! Happy Eating!
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