I could eat asparagus every day. Without a question, it’s my favourite veg! Antioxidant rich and loaded with fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, I think asparagus can easily find its way onto many plates and be sided with most any meat or fish of your choice. Asparagus is glorious with eggs, and is a great accompaniment to so many pasta dishes. Quite often, I am happy to eat it all on its own with a sprinkle of parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
My primary reason for writing this post is in regard to storing your asparagus once you get it home from the market. The asparagus shown in these photos, I found in the town of Épernay, in France. I was immediately taken by the greens, lavenders, and creamy white of these stunning stalks. Admittedly, I am not a fan of white asparagus, however, I made an exception simply because of the colour of this crop of beauties. (I find green asparagus to be far more flavourful than the white.)
To properly store your asparagus, chop off about 2 cms from the bottom of the stalk. Next fill an appropriate sized container with about 2 cms of water, and place the bunch of asparagus in that, and then transfer this to the fridge. Your asparagus should stay fresh for 3-4 days when treated this way.
When you want to cook the asparagus, snap off about another 2 cms or so from the bottom of the stalk and steam for about 3-4 minutes on high. The asparagus will continue to cook when you take it off the stove so I suggest draining it asap, and then giving it a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon, a crack of pepper, and a rasp of lemon rind and fresh parmesan. Simple ingredients, fabulous taste. You can also roast asparagus in the oven. I choose this route most often because I like the combination of olive oil, salt and pepper. I roast mine on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated 180C oven for about 10 minutes.
As you see in these photos, I have peeled the asparagus. I’ve only done so because they are predominantly white, and white asparagus is typically tough in comparison to the green version. In Europe, white asparagus is all the rage! Asparagus retains its white hue when the stalks are prevented from seeing sunlight; for when they do see the sun, the brilliant green colour is the result of chlorophyll coming into play.
Good and good for you, asparagus is a versatile and oh so delicious vegetable! When in season, eat until your heart’s content!