Asparagus 101: How to Buy and Cook
It’s gotta be my all-time favorite veggie! I’m crazy about asparagus! You too? When spring rolls around, and asparagus is super cheap at the grocery store, I’m in. Or, even better, when you can find those gorgeous bundles of green at the farmer’s market. Bring it on!
Picking the Right Bunch
So, how do you pick it out? I always go for the thicker rather than pencil-thin asparagus. I think it’s really hard not to overcook the thin stuff. I also look for firm and bright green asparagus stalks with plump tightly closed tips. Fading color is a sign it’s going bad. Also, check the stem ends to make sure they look freshly cut, not shriveled or dried out.
How To Store
Uncooked asparagus will stay fresh for three to four days in the refrigerator. The secret is to keep asparagus cool and damp. Right away when you get home, cut a little bit off the ends of your asparagus. Then, store spears upright in a container with the stems wading in about an inch of water and cover loosely with a plastic bag. You can also wrap the ends in moist paper towels and drop the bundle into a plastic bag.
How To Cook
Just place the spears in a skillet full of lightly salted boiling water to boil it. Don’t cover the skillet; otherwise, the asparagus will go from bright green to army drab. Start testing for doneness after about two minutes. They should be barely tender, with a slight crunch. Asparagus will continue to cook after you’ve removed it from the pan. To keep the asparagus from overcooking and to keep it a bright green, immediately after boiling, drop it into ice water for a minute or two. Then, remove and pat dry.
Ready to get cooking?
Start out with a few of my favorite Asparagus recipes:
- Try my Asparagus Salad with bleu cheese in a nice and light homemade vinaigrette. Speaking of salads, I LOVE a good pasta salad in the summer!
- My Asparagus Bow Tie Pasta Salad is one of my favorites with those cute little bow ties. They make me smile! For a main course, why not try a new pasta dish with asparagus?
- My Pasta with Pesto, Peas and Asparagus is a WINNER! So fresh and pretty and super easy too! If you are grilling this summer, why not keep it all outside?
- My Grilled Asparagus with Bacon and Feta Cheese is amazing! Trust me. People go crazy over it!
- Throw some into my Asparagus Potato Frittata. Makes a great Sunday morning breakfast or brunch or a nice light dinner.
- And, if it’s asparagus season, you might as well pick up a few bundles and make a big batch of my Cream of Asparagus Soup too!
Got any cooking secrets or asparagus recipes to share?
Please share! I’d love to feature them on my website! Happy asparagus season!
My preferred way to cook asparagus is to saute in olive oil with salt and pepper. We like ours more soft than many.