Steam them, blanch them, pan fry or barbecue them to perfection until your heart’s content. This great spring wonder is aplenty and ready for immediate use in the kitchen.
- Choose asparagus that is firm and shapely. You want the tips to be tightly closed
- In season: September – March, however asparagus is in it’s main production September – November
- Although green asparagus is the most common variety, you can find purple and white asparagus
- Asparagus works beautifully in salads, tarts or as a simple side dish to a great meal
- Delicate in flavour with a woody taste
- Very high in folate, B and C group vitamins and potassium
How to prepare asparagus
Simply snap off the ends of the asparagus with your hands or if you prefer, slice off with a knife. Also make sure to give the asparagus a wash under cold water.
The best way to store asparagus
You may have treated asparagus just like all other veggies in the crisper section of your fridge. However this little tip will stop your bundles from softening quickly and drying on the ends. Stand bunches up in a glass of water, wrapped in plastic for up to three days.
How to cook with asparagus
One of the many beauties of this veg are the many preparation methods. With one ingredient you can have a simple side or a chargrilled dish that is full of flavour. Here’s how:
Steaming asparagus is a great option, as it softens the spears while still keeping in the vegetable’s precious nutrients. Simply add to a steaming basket then place the basket on top of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.
Once prepared, simply add the asparagus to a pan or preferably, a wok and fry on a high heat. Continue to move the vegetable around the pan until cooked, approximately 4-5 minutes. This idea works wonderfully with Asian flavours like soy or oyster sauce.
Prepare your asparagus then toss with a small amount of olive oil and sea salt. Add to a heated flat barbecue or griddle and cook, turning for 3-4 minutes. If you want extra char, simply turn the heat up on the griddle pan and turn slightly less often.
Heat water in a medium sized saucepan and add prepared asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and serve. With this method, asparagus can start to brown quickly so watch closely.
It’s important to note that when you cook with asparagus, your cooking time and the result you are looking for is based on personal preference. Some prefer crisp asparagus, other like this vegetable to be quite soft.
Get inspired with these incredible ways to cook with asparagus. Not only is there a recipe for every occasion, but there are many cooking ideas that will become part of your side dish rotation for years to come.