Wednesday's In the Know: Asparagus!
Like soldiers lining a field, asparagus are one of those vegetables that stand at attention begging for us to incorporate them into our weekly menu routine. When in season, February – June, April & early May being their peak, I try to do just that capitalizing not only on their beauty and sophistication but also their texture and delicious flavor profile. Below is a quick summary of the best way to shop, store and cook asparagus in hopes that you too will enjoy their bounty this month!
- Always look for asparagus standing upright with their stem end in water. Asparagus are “living” and must keep hydrated for their ultimate potential to shine through. The tips should be tight and pointed and stalks bright green, firm to touch, and standing at attention without slouching. When you lift a bunch out of water, the bottom may be slightly dry, but should appear hydrated and healthy without the stems splintering.
- When you get home, treat them like flowers by trimming a small portion of the stem and submerging them again with 1/2-inch of cold water in the fridge. If you do not have room to store them standing upright in the fridge, trim the stem and wrap in cold wet paper towels in a ziplock bag while keeping the bag unzipped.
- Again, asparagus are living and breathing so we must do everything in our power to create the ideal environment from which they can flourish. Right before cooking, trim another small portion from the stem and roast, blanch or peel into strips (if eating raw) to your hearts content.
- My preferred method is peeling them into long strips (from stem end to tip with a vegetable peeler) and tossing them raw in your salad or adorning a pizza. When not serving them raw, I like tossing asparagus with a good olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting them in a 400ºF oven for about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring halfway through. However, all this being said, sometimes I like eating them as is maybe dipped in a little ranch if I am feeling adventurous.
- For delicious recipes featuring asparagus, like Steak and Asparagus Stir Fry, Feta, Leek and Asparagus Frittata or even my Spring Asparagus Tart, visit my website TheTableTogether.com.
However you enjoy your asparagus, I hope you pick up a bunch on your next trip to the market!
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Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!
Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!