• Asparagus

Asparagus

Spring and Asparagus just go together. These perennial plants sprout their flavorful stalks as soon as the weather begins to warm. Late March and early April will be the peak season for fresh Asparagus from certified organic farms in California. The spear sizes are medium to large in thickness – ideal for most all kinds of preparations.

Packed with flavor, vitamins and nutrients, fresh Asparagus can make meals exciting in many ways. Bake it into casseroles. Blanch it before adding it to a fresh salad. Boil or steam it as a delicious green side dish, dressed simply with oil, butter, fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon. Roast it in the oven with olive oil, balsamic or the juice from an orange.

How do you choose it? Avoid Asparagus bunches that have an odor, wrinkled spears, spread open tips or soft tips. Look for a healthy green color, though a little purpling is not a problem.

Kitchen Tip: How not to ruin fresh Asparagus and other FAQs

  • How do you choose it? Avoid Asparagus bunches that have an odor, wrinkled spears, spread open tips or soft tips. Look for a healthy green color, though a little purpling is not a problem.
  • How do you store it? I simply recommend wrapping a moist paper towel around the stem ends and storing the Asparagus in the refrigerator. Asparagus is highly perishable so use it within a few days of purchase.
  • Is the whole spear edible? Cut the tougher bottom portion of the spear off – usually the last 3/4″ to 1-1/2″ that is lighter in color. Or grab the bottom of the stem and the middle of the spear then bend – the Asparagus will snap where the fibrous portion ends.
  • Golden Rule for Cooking Asparagus: High Temperature, Short time. This will highlight the flavor without bringing on the mushiness. If you like mushy Asparagus (what! Seriously?), go ahead and cook it to death.
  • How do you cook it? The goal is to finish each of these cooking methods with a cooked piece of asparagus that still has some texture and has not gone completely limp.
    • Steam or blanch fresh Asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes at most.
    • Grill over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes after lightly coating the Asparagus in olive oil and seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
    • Roast in the oven at 400F lightly tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoned with salt and pepper for 12-18 min or until browned.
    • Pan-sear in 2 tbsp olive oil over high heat covered with a lid for 2 minutes, then uncover and flip allowing the other side to blacken for 1 minute.
    • Sauté in olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, covered.
    • Microwave in about 1/4 cup of water for 5 minutes in a tightly covered microwave-safe container.

Asparagus Recipes


Sunny Citrus Asparagus