Asparagus is arguably one of the best things you can eat because it contains so many good nutrients. Fresh asparagus can be part of a tasty dish, and will fill you with calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and even potassium. The only downside is that people just don’t know how to cook the fresh vegetable, and even if they do they have no idea on what dish to put it with. Luckily for you guys we are about to show exactly how asparagus can be cooked and what meals it complements.
The first and most important point in getting your asparagus ready to cook is cleaning it. This a step overlooked by many people but please don’t neglect this step. Why? Well asparagus is grown around sand, and the very tips of the vegetable have plenty of cracks and crevices where the sand can creep into. If not washed properly you are going to get a crunchy, gritty taste in your mouth.
Run the asparagus under cool water which should remove the sand.
After you have done this you will want to chop the base ends off your asparagus as these aren’t really palatable, unless you like eating tough wood! Usually a 2-inch chop is enough to cut the unwanted base away.
Now we get stuck into some of the ways you can cook this delicious vegetable. There are three many healthy ways and they are to steam, boil or to blanch.
Blanching is notably the most popular method as asparagus doesn’t need long to cook. Just get yourself a bowl of water, drop in 2 teaspoons of sea salt and let the veg cook for about 2-3 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the asparagus as it will become limp and lifeless, you want an asparagus that crunches on each bite, so test a spear to make sure it’s ready to come out of the water.
In literally 3 minutes of cooking and about 3 minutes of prep you have some tasty blanched asparagus to tuck into.
Tip: Try serving it with a crispy fresh salad.
The second way is to boil the asparagus which takes around 5 minutes but you need to keep a close eye on the spears because this veg is quick cooker and it takes just an extra 30 secs – 1 minute to ruin them.
You don’t need to fill a saucepan to the brim with this method either, you only need enough water to cover the asparagus so a few inches deep with about 2 tablespoons of sea salt is all you need to do the trick.
Tip: Place the asparagus into the saucepan when the water is on a rolling boil, and then cook for 5 minutes once the water returns to a boil.
Finally we come to the steaming option which unlike boiling keeps a lot of the nutrients in the asparagus, and there is also less of a chance you are going to overcook it using this process. Usually you will need to steam them for around 7 minutes depending on what kind of steamer you are using, but just test one spear for crispiness before you serve up.
You can also roast and sauté asparagus for different kinds of tastes and finishes. The sauté option will allow you to create the beginning of a fantastic stir fry where you can add onions, peppers, mushrooms and carrots at the same time you add the asparagus. This crunchy little dish can be served anytime of the year and just adds an extra element into how asparagus can be cooked and then served.
Asparagus is a very versatile veg that will go with almost anything, but surprisingly some of the best recipes are soups and chicken dishes. For example you can make a creamy potato and asparagus soup, or you can wrap bacon around your asparagus spears in a chicken and bacon dish.
If you prefer a lighter bite, then you can add asparagus to summer dishes such as fresh salads or Asian spring rolls. The choice is yours!