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Asparagus - How to Buy, Prepare and Clean Asparagus

Updated on July 14, 2011
Fresh asparagus spears photo: hoveringdog @flickr
Fresh asparagus spears photo: hoveringdog @flickr

Asparagus - Popular Vegetable

Asparagus is known for delicious flavor. Asparagus is extremely healthy to eat, too. Many people today genuinely want to learn the best way to buy asparagus and how to prepare it.

You can find asparagus throughout the year at the neighborhood grocery store, but it is in peak season from the end of February until June. While it is possible to keep asparagus inside the fridge for up to five days, it's best to make it  immediately to make the most of its fantastic taste! Or you can buy canned or frozen asparagus.

How to Cook Asparagus - Grill, Roast, So Many Ways!

The fact is, asparagus is quite simple to cook. It's a very versatile vegetable. Asparagus may be roasted, steamed, boiled, and also grilled. Each of these methods offers its own individual and distinctive flavor.The main thing to remember when cooking asparagus is not to overcook it. This will cause it to be mushy and unappealing. But maybe even more importantly, it loses lots of its valuable nutrients if asparagus is overcooked.

Below are several  ways for you to prepare asparagus:

Use a skillet to prepare asparagus. Tie the asparagus together in bundles. Add sufficient water only to cover them and a lemon slice. Bring the water to a simmer. Add the asparagus and a little salt. The actual cooking time for asparagus spears is determined by the thickness of the stalks. Cook for about 7-8 minutes and check for doneness using a fork. They should be tender but not mushy when done.

After draining the asparagus spears, put them back into the skillet.  You may add a little butter to the skillet. Then allow it to melt in order to coat the vegetables. Lemon juice sprinkled on asparagus is always good, too.

How to Microwave Asparagus

Arrange the fresh asparagus in a round microwave safe dish. The asparagus tips should face the middle. Add only two tablespoons of water. Cook, covered, on high power for about 7-8 minutes. The asparagus should be tender and crisp. If your microwave doesn't turn automatically, turn the dish a half turn in the middle of the cooking time.

How to  Grill Asparagus

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Put the asparagus spears on an oiled rack over direct heat. Turn occasionally. It will be done when it becomes brown. It usually takes about 5 minutes.

How to Roast Asparagus

Put the asparagus spears into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of melted butter or olive oil. Coat the asparagus well. Place the oiled asparagus spears on a baking pan large enough to fit the asparagus into a single layer.  Roast in a preheated oven set at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about ten minutes. Turn halfway through. They are done when they are brown and look slightly wilted.

Buying Asparagus Fresh

Buying Asparagus
The following are a few suggestions on how to purchase fresh asparagus spears:

Ideally, you should purchase fresh asparagus and then cook it shortly after for the best taste.

The typical guideline is 1.5 pounds of asparagus for 4 people.

How large the particular asparagus you decide to buy has more to do with individual choice than taste. The size is not important because different size asparagus spears taste about the same.

Purchase asparagus with strong spears and tips which are closed. The ends should not be dried out.

How to Make Lemon Roasted Asparagus

How to Clean Asparagus and Prepare It for Cooking

Begin by simply soaking the asparagus in very cold water for about a half hour. Rinse it off.

Then start stripping the small scales from the asparagus stems along the sides using a small chef's knife or a vegetable peeler. It is important to learn how to do this correctly, since this is where dirt and bugs are usually located.

When cleansing the asparagus spears under running water, handle the bottom portion end of the stalk with one hand and bend it lightly using the other hand. The woody end should break. If you have problems breaking them, just cut them off with a knife. The broken ends may be saved for a pot of soup. After you're finished breaking the stems, rub the asparagus gently. And then invert the asparagus and proceed with washing it.

Asparagus - How to Cook, Buy and Clean Asparagus Comments

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I love asparagus and thank you for your lovely hub.

    • thevoice profile image


      8 years ago from carthage ill

      excellent quality tasty hub review great work was sick sorry thanks


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