As we joyfully greet springtime and all its beautiful flowers, we also have another reason to jump for joy: spring vegetables! One of the all time favorite spring vegetables is asparagus. Make sure you add it to your menu the next few months while it's at its peak.
Picking & Storing Asparagus
When you are buying asparagus, look for bright green stalks and compact tips. When you handle the asparagus it should stand straight up and feel crisp. Store asparagus in the refrigerator, and plan to use within 2 days for the best results. The asparagus will remain fresh longer if you wrap the stalks with a damp paper towel, and put a plastic bag over the tops.
Wash thoroughly, and get rid of the inedible part of the stalk. To do this, simply bend the asparagus, it will “snap” off the part of the stalk you don’t want to eat. If your asparagus has a narrow top and thick base you may want to peel the base slightly to even out the cooking time. You can steam asparagus for 4 or 5 minutes, or oven roast with a little olive oil for 5-8 minutes (depending on thickness of the asparagus) at 450°F. Stir fried asparagus takes about 3 to 4 minutes, and grilling is a great option as well (again drizzle with oil first). The key is to never overcook the asparagus, you still want it to have a little crispness, as it will have a much nicer flavor this way.
3 Asparagus Recipes to Try
Here are a few recipes to test out if you want to enjoy some fresh asparagus: Oven Roasted Asparagus 1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed (or snapped) 3 tbsp oil (olive oil is preferred, but you can try other oils) 1 ½ tbsp of your favorite vegan cheese, grated 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp sea salt Pepper to taste Preheat oven to 425°F. Place asparagus in a medium mixing bowl and coat with oil, then mix in salt, pepper, and garlic. Put coated asparagus on a cookie sheet (line with aluminum foil to reduce clean-up) and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for about 5-8 minutes and serve warm. Easy Garlic Asparagus 2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil) 1 bunch asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces 2 cloves garlic, minced Pinch of salt, to taste Preheat a large skillet to medium, and add oil. Add the asparagus and garlic, then cover the pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring on occasion. Asparagus and Cashew Stir Fry 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp ginger, minced 1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed (or snapped) 1 tbsp soy sauce ½ cup cashews / almonds (or other favorite nut), chopped Heat oil in a wok at low-medium heat. Add ginger and sauté until browned, then add asparagus. Let cook for a few minutes, then add in soy sauce and nuts. Cook until slightly tender, then serve.Photo credit: di_the_huntress