I love asparagus.
It’s got awesome health benefits: it’s an anti-inflammatory, an anti-oxidant, and it contains a very important nutrient that helps your digestive system. (I won’t bore you with all the science, but you can read about it here.)
Plus, it’s super yummy.
Asparagus starts appearing in the very late winter and early spring, but its peak season is April to May, so that’s when you’re going to get the best deal on it at the grocery store.
Look for stems that are about the thickness of a pencil with dark green or purplish tips. The stalks should be straight and slightly flexible – not bent or twisted – and the tips should be tightly closed.
Asparagus will not keep long in the refrigerator, so plan to use it up within a couple of days. Wrap the base of the stems with a damp paper towel to keep them fresh as long as possible.
Working with asparagus is super easy.
Just rinse in cold water and blot between two paper towels. Then, pick up the stalk near the base, and gently snap off about two inches or so. (Like you’re snapping pole beans.)
You don’t have to stress about it. It will snap off very easily. Don’t force it.
If you managed to get some thicker asparagus in your bunch, don’t sweat it. The skin will be tougher, so just peel the lower third of the stalk with a vegetable peeler. The thinner stalks do not need to be peeled.
Asparagus will shrink down to about half its size during cooking, so keep that in mind when you’re thinking about portions.
Need a recipe for asparagus? I love it roasted:
Parmesan Garlic Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 400* and drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan. Wash and prepare the asparagus, then lay them in the pan and add a few more drops of oil if necessary. Toss to coat. Add minced garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Full disclosure: Ok, so I didn’t feel like actually grating any parmesan for this, so I just used the stuff in the can. Also, I didn’t have any sea salt. Also, this would be great with bacon.
What’s your favorite use for Asparagus?