Did you know asparagus season is drawing near? This healthy vegetable has a bit of a soured reputation due to its infamous odor, but its arrival in the farmer’s markets is a sure sign of spring, making asparagus season something to celebrate.
Each fresh spear packs a seriously healthy punch. One serving of asparagus provides 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements, and the veggie also contains vitamins A, C, E and B-6, iron, copper, calcium and fiber. Plus they have cancer-fighting antioxidants. Unfortunately, many are intimidated by the delectable vegetable, not sure how to cook it to the perfect level of tenderness. Instead, they end up with tough spears that are even tougher to swallow. But don’t worry. We have 6 tips for cooking delicious asparagus all season long. Before you know it, you’ll be adoring the veggie, and gobbling it up by the bundle.
1. Find A Happy Medium
When the bounty of fresh asparagus comes in, be discerning. Pick spears that are not too small and not too large for the best results. Medium-sized asparagus is easier to cook evenly, and is the ideal choice for most recipes.
2. Keep It Fresh
According to Cooking Light, you can keep asparagus fresh in the refrigerator for a few days by draping a wet paper towel over the ends. You can extend its shelf life further by storing it like a bouquet of flowers. Trim about half an inch from the bottom ends and stand the stalks upright in an inch of water.
3. Wash Upside Down
The tips of asparagus spears can hold sand and dirt in the crevices. So hold them upside down under running water to wash them and release all of the trapped soil.
4. Trim Efficiently
When you’re ready to use your asparagus, you should start by trimming the fibrous ends off each stalk of asparagus. You can test one by bending it until it breaks to see how much to cut off. Then use that length as a guide to chop the rest.
5. Always Blanch and Shock
No matter how you plan to finish off your asparagus, blanching should always be your first cooking step. Blanching cooks the inside evenly. After a quick (no more than three-minute) soak in salted boiling water, transfer the spears into a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking so they retain their crunch and bright green color.
6. Maximize Flavor
Sautéing and roasting will produce the most intense flavor in the asparagus. Unlike boiling, all the flavor stays concentrated in the vegetable.
Now that you’re an asparagus expert, all you need to do is pick a specific recipe or two and get cooking.
Are you a fan of this veggie?