ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Boil Asparagus

Updated on November 20, 2014
Source

The Spring Time Vegetable We Love

Asparagus is a vegetable that pops up in the spring time. It is actually the sprouting shoots of a perennial that flowers. It has been used as a medicinal vegetable due to its diuretic properties and was a favorite of the Romans who actually dried this delicate vegetable for use in the wintertime. It was brought to the United States in 1850 and is widely cultivated.

The best taste comes from the tender tips of an asparagus stalk and cooking asparagus takes very little time and effort. If you think you do not like asparagus, chances are that you have only tried asparagus that was severely over cooked. Overcook this vegetable and you end up with a stringy, tasteless pile of mush. Boil it quickly and and you end up with an epicurian delight.

Asparagus is extremely good for you. It is loaded with fiber and has very little sodium. Vitamins A, C, E and K are found in this vegetable and minerals include calcium, chromium, selenium, magnesium and zinc. Older asparagus is thick while young plants produce thin stalks. Older, thick asparagus yields a woody taste and peeling the base of the stalk may be necessary to rid the vegetable of its stringiness. Peeling is extra work, I prefer to snap stalks after cleaning them.

Source

Preparing and Cooking Asparagus

Preparing Asparagus

When buying asparagus look for a bunch with thinner stalks that have a bright green and fresh color. Fresh asparagus may actually show shades of purple or gray in the tips and these colors are fine. Tips should not be wilting and the stalks should be firm.

Rinse your asparagus bunch in cool water. Bend the stalks at the base to snap off the hard and woody flavored ends. You will feel the asparagus yield when you bend it and a firm snap will break off the ends which are less flavorful. Do not throw the ends away. The ends can be used to make delicious soup. If you do not want to make the soup right away then briefly blanch the stem ends, dry and freeze them for a future recipe, like Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Using a vegetable steamer is the best way to cook asparagus. Vegetable steamers are stainless steel inserts that line the bottom of a pan. The asparagus does not get covered by boiling water, instead the steam rises and cooks the vegetable. Cooking time does not change with a steamer. An asparagus pot works well, too, since the insert has a handle which allows you to pull out all of the asparagus at once which helps to stop the cooking process faster.

Cooking Asparagus

Bring a big pot half full of water to a boil. Use a pot that will allow the asparagus to lay flat rather than upright. Once the water is boiling, place asparagus in the pot and cover until the water comes back to a boil and remove lid. Boil the asparagus for 5 to 8 minutes, do not over cook the stalks. You can test a piece after 5 minutes, it sould still be somewhat crisp and bright green. Once cooked, remove and place on a kitchen towel to dry. Serve asparagus immediately. Toss with salt, black pepper and fresh lemon juice to season or try the asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Try the recipe below. Serve 7 to 10 stalks per person. A pound of asparagus willl yield approximately 20 stalks.

Hollandaise Sauce for Asparagus

5 Star Hollandaise Sauce

3 stars from 7 ratings of Hollandaise for Asparagus

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 1 cup or six servings

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon, fresh squeezed
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • pinch salt
  • pinch white peper

Instructions

  1. Whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice until the mixture has doubled in volume. Use a stainless steel bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. A double boile is optimal but not necessary.
  3. Whisk rapidly over the pan of water while drizzling in the melted stick of butter. Do not let the mixture get too hot or the eggs will separate.
  4. Once this mixture has doubled in volume, whisk in salt and pepper. Keep in a warm place until ready to pour over asparagus. Add a few drops of water to thin if sauce is too thick before serving.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cabmgmnt profile imageAUTHOR

      Corey 

      5 years ago from Northfield, MA

      Thaks Chitrangada Sharan,

      I hope you find the tips useful and give them a try!

    • cabmgmnt profile imageAUTHOR

      Corey 

      5 years ago from Northfield, MA

      Thanks Lemonkerdz,

      your way of cooking asparagus sounds delicious!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Useful information about asparagus. Your cooking instructions about asparagus is something I did not know about. Thanks for sharing.

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 

      5 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      I love asparagus, i found one of my favorite ways to eat it is simply cut in half and colour it in a hot frying pan with a tiny bit of oil, and just place on top of a salad. yum

      Thanks for the hub

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)