No need to fuss! Your how-to guide for enjoying asparagus
EVERYTHING you need to know about shopping for, and cooking with asparagus
Asparagus is a low-calorie, non-starchy vegetable enjoyed year-round by many. It has a fresh flavor, is uber versatile, and is as nutritious as it is delicious. We all know asparagus has the tendency to make pee smell funky, but when it comes to shopping for and using asparagus some of us haven’t the slightest clue of what to look for or where to begin. In an effort to SPEAR from rotting spears, we break it down for you here:
- Choose bright green or violet-tinged spears that are firm and straight, with tips that are closed, compact and tight (think paintbrush)
- Check out the ends and avoid stalks that appear yellowish, dry, split or woody – all clear signs of older asparagus.
- Girth of the spears (thick vs thin) is a matter of taste – thin spears are more tender and sweet, while thicker spears have a meatier texture.
- White asparagus turns pink when exposed to sunlight, it is still good to use. When shopping for white, look for the same traits as you would green, minus the color.
ONCE AT HOME
- To ensure maximum freshness of your spears, trim an inch or so off the bottom and store upright in a jar with an inch of water, and cover the tops with a plastic bag.
PREPARATIONS AND FAVORITE RECIPES
Asparagus can be enjoyed raw or cooked (grilled, steamed, baked etc.). Thin spears are better for grilling, sautéing or steaming. Thicker spears need more work to become tender so they’re better steamed or boiled. Additional suggestions include:
- Cut-up or shaved asparagus can be tossed in salads and breakfast omelets.
- Simply roast with balsamic vinegar
- Snap off the ends, add a drizzle of vinegar of a squeeze of orange, and roast in a 400°F oven for 25 minutes. Serve with a poached or hard-boiled egg on top.
- Add to stir-fry dishes like this Wok-Seared Chicken with Asparagus and Cashews
- Mix into a creamy NO CARB Risotto