Asparagus and spring go hand in hand. Like clockwork, each spring our market produce counters are brimming with a fresh supply of deep green asparagus.
Asparagus has been enjoyed in so many corners of the world since ancient times for not only its taste but also its health benefits. And with the holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to brush up on our asparagus know-how, so that you can look like a pro in the kitchen.
Here are some tips to make serving up asparagus a cinch:
- Select bright green asparagus with compact, firm tips and smooth tender skin.
- Asparagus will keep best for 2 to 3 days if we trim the ends then store them in the fridge upright in about an inch of water.
- Asparagus are quick-cooking! They take only a few minutes to cook, depending upon their thickness and whether we blanch, boil, microwave, stir-fry, or grill them. My favorite way is to use an asparagus steamer. With its narrow wire basket and lid, it holds a large quantity of asparagus at a time, and the upright position lets the harder stems cook in about 2 inches of water, while the tips gently steam. The result is asparagus cooked perfectly, through and through.
- There are many ways to serve up asparagus, both hot and cold, from as simple as sprinkling with salt to the classic restaurant style -- drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. It's pretty simple to make, but you can easily use a shortcut packaged Hollandaise sauce, if you prefer.
Any way at all, with these hints we'll be ready to show off for the holidays with ease, so that everyone can enjoy both the healthy benefits and all the..."OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!"