Cooking asparagus is a snap if you know what you're doing.
If you do a little research on asparagus, you’ll quickly learn this “from the Lily plant” veggie is best in the spring and is full of antioxidants.
I also found this veggie is a favorite of Greeks and Italians, so if your ancestral tree has either, you may have eaten a lot of asparagus growing up.
Learning how to cook asparagus isn’t hard—in fact it’s one of the easiest vegetables to cook. But to ensure those at your table actually eat and reap the vitamin benefits, what can you do besides steaming those slim green sticks?
Buy Good Asparagus
On your quest for the best asparagus at your supermarket, look for the rubber-band packed bunches that are bright green with closed tips. If the tips are slightly open, cold water will revive them back to life. Asparagus stalks can be frozen, but when it’s time to use it, cook it frozen. Don’t let it thaw out first or you’ll lose crispness.
Cooking With Asparagus
“Corn cooker” gadgets work great for cooking asparagus. Basically they are tall and deep stainless steel pans with chrome baskets and a lid. They also work great for carrot sticks.
You can steam, stir fry, boil, grill and even roast asparagus in the oven
. The trick with this spring veggie is not to overcook it.
Asparagus should be washed in cold water and the non-tipped ends snapped off. They’re sort of like little twigs and once you’ve snapped one, you’re an expert.
The fastest way to cook asparagus is to add about an inch of water to a pan, throw in some salt and bring to a boil. Next, throw the asparagus sticks in and cook no more than six to eight minutes—drain and top with butter, lemon juice, and Parmesan (or similar) cheese .
If you're grilling or baking asparagus, use foil on the grill or the cookie sheet to ensure any toppings or spices you put on stays on. Great spices to blend with butter as toppers for asparagus include chives, tarragon and chervil. For toppings beyond your favorite cheese, yogurt and cream cheese work nicely. Sesame seeds are also a great topping. Finally, nothing beats hollandaise sauce as a topper and dipper.
Creating a stir-fry dish is easy with asparagus—make sure it’s one of the last veggies you put in so it doesn’t go limp and lose its appeal and crunch.
Appetizers using asparagus are always a favorite. You can roll them in ham
or use puff pastry to wrap up and cook.
For a devilish appetizer, wrap them in bacon and grill. Kids of all ages eat this lean green veggie if bacon is involved.
Cooked or thoroughly washed raw asparagus is also a great complement to any fruit or veggie tray with dill or tarragon dip.
Lastly, there’s even asparagus soup
I visited a restaurant recently that offered white asparagus on the menu. On arrival, I was a little disappointed in the lack of flavor, but that’s because it wasn’t cooked correctly with the right blend of spices. White asparagus wraps or shrimp combos
work great together, so don’t count out the white—just play with your favorite spices.
More Asparagus Recipes
Your turn: how do you like to cook asparagus? Tell us in the comments!