What are asparagus spears | How to cook your asparagus

What Are Asparagus Spears

Asparagus are slim green spears, often tinged with a bit of purple at the tip.

Asparagus, or garden asparagus, is a perennial flowering plant species in the genus Asparagus.
Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

When purchasing asparagus you need to choose firm, bright green stalks with tight, compact heads. Choose firm spears with tightly closed leaves.
Avoid spears that are dry, limp, or wrinkled, or have ruffled tips with leaves spread out from the stalk.

Asparagus Uses

Asparagus is very good in stir-fries, where it is usually cut into lengths of about an inch and added at the last minute before serving.

It can also be made into asparagus soup, especially the older and slightly less tender shoots.

Asparagus spears can make a great side dish served alonside a main dish, in a salad or at your next bbq.

How to prepare Asaparagus

  1. How To Wash Asparagus;

    To wash asparagus, place it in a large bowl or clean sink filled with cold water.
    Drop in the asparagus and swish it around to remove any errant dirt.

  2. How To Cut Asparagus;

    The great news is, you don’t even need to cut asparagus (though read on for an easy trick for knowing where to cut, if you like).
    Just bend and snap! You just want to discard the woody ends of the asparagus.

    Grab the end of the spear with one hand and grasp just above the middle with the other.
    Then just bend until it snaps – the asparagus will naturally break at the right place.
    Discard the end.

Cooking Asparagus

In its simplest form, the shoots are boiled or steamed until tender and served with a light sauce or melted butter.

How To Steam Asparagus

  1. Asparagus is very long and narrow, and it is traditionally cooked in an asparagus steamer.
    This is a very tall narrow pot with about an inch of boiling water in the bottom.
    The asparagus is tied in a bundle and stood upright in the steamer for about five minutes so that the toughest end gets the most cooking and the tips are just barely steamed.
  2. An alternative is to use a frypan – put boiling water in the pan and slide the asparagus gently into the water so it can lie sideways across the pan.
  3. Asparagus is cooked when it turns bright green, which only takes a few minutes regardless of the cooking method.

How To Cook Asparagus In A Pan

  1. Bring 2 1/2 cm of lightly salted water to a boil in a large frypan.
  2. Add asparagus in one layer.
  3. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes for medium and 7 minutes for large.
  4. Drain, and serve.

How To Roast Asparagus

Roasted asparagus is tender, slightly browned and crisp on the ends, and addictingly snack-worthy.

  1. Preheat your oven to 200℃ (400℉).
  2. Prepare asparagus spears as per instructions above, then dry by rolling it around on a kitchen towel.
  3. Place the asparagus in large a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt.
    Toss gently with your hands until all of the asparagus is coated.
  4. Lay the asparagus in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  5. Bake, opening the oven to roll the asparagus around once or twice, until golden brown and tender.
    This should take 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and add additional salt to taste.

How To Grill Asparagus On The BBQ

Grilled asparagus is smoky, tender, and delicious with a bit of caramelized char. Yum!

  1. Prepare asparagus spears as per instructions above, then dry by rolling it around on a kitchen towel.
  2. Place the asparagus in large a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt.
    Toss gently with your hands until all of the asparagus is coated.
  3. Lay spears on a bbq grill heated medium-high.
  4. Cook for a couple of minutes then turn asparagus with tongs.
    Cook for 2-3 more minutes, turning once or twice more, until the asparagus is tender and charred in spots.
  5. Serve as a side dish alongside your other salads and barbecued meats.

How To Blanch Asparagus

Blanched asparagus is crisp-tender and perfect for adding to salads or marinating for a delicious appetizer.

  1. Prepare asparagus spears as per instructions above.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with water.
  3. Also fill a large bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes.
  4. Place the saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and add the asparagus.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the asparagus is just tender.
  6. Using tongs, immediately transfer the asparagus to the bowl of water. The cold water will help to instantly stop the asparagus from cooking.
  7. Remove from water and serve your blanched asparagus however you like!
  8. You can marinate it or give it a light saute in butter or olive oil – a sprinkle of sea salt and you’re good to go.
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