Asparagus: Six Simple Ways to Prepare It
Here are 6 tasty asparagus recipes to try. There are a number of ways to bring out the full flavor of the tender green spears, such as boiling, steaming, roasting, sautéing, broiling, and pan-roasting. The nutritious and fibrous vegetable can be ready in minutes.
Raw fresh asparagus spears are irresistible because of their sweet and snappy texture. It's only when the fibrous greens are cooked that their full flavor is revealed. Just a little bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper is all that's needed to bring out the dish's innately delicious flavor. Even with more robust sauces like hollandaise, a squeeze of lemon, or even more umani and rich sauces in stir-fries, the texture holds up well.
Instructions for Preparing Asparagus
Cooking asparagus can be done indoors or out; options include the stovetop, oven, and grill. While steaming keeps their vibrant green color and succulent texture, broiling adds a subtle smokiness. Which method is chosen depends on the desired flavor profile and the cook's availability.
Prepared with a Boil
- Fill a large pot halfway with salt water.
- In a pot of boiling water, place asparagus.
- Steam for 1-3 minutes, or until bright green and tender.
- Submerge in ice water to stop the cooking process if you won't be eating it right away.
- Cover the steamer basket containing the asparagus.
- High heat cooking until bright green and fork-tender, about 2 to 4 minutes.
- To prevent further cooking, place in an ice water bath if you won't be eating right away.
A Side Dish of Roasted Asparagus
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper should be used to coat the asparagus.
- Maintain a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius) while cooking in a sheet pan.
- Shake the pan halfway through the broiling process and broil for about 10 minutes.
- Browned and fork-tender spear tips are ideal.
Asparagus in a Sautee
- Asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
- Use oil or butter and cook the spears over high heat in a sauté pan.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
- Spice up with some salt and pepper
- Asparagus can be stir-fried in a wok using the same method.
Asparagus in a Brine
- Change broiler setting on oven
- Using a pastry brush, apply oil, salt, and pepper to the asparagus, and then place on a baking sheet.
- Asparagus should be baked in an oven at a height of 6 inches from the top heating element.
- Broil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender but still has a slight bite.
Asparagus with a Pan-Frying Finish
- Olive oil and butter should be heated in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- When the fat is ready, toss in the asparagus and coat.
- In a covered pan, cook the asparagus for 3 minutes, or until they are a vibrant green and crisp.
- Take the lid off and crank up the heat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- For 3–5 minutes, using tongs, move the asparagus around a hot grill until it is browned.
Selecting Asparagus: What to Look for
Asparagus is at its peak of freshness in the spring, from February to June, but it can be purchased from international sources at any time of the year. In addition to green, you can also find them in purple and white. The size of the harvested asparagus depends on when it was picked; the larger spears developed for a longer period of time.
To account for the difference in thickness between thin and thick spears, cook times should be modified accordingly. Squeezing a bunch of them together should result in a smooth and rubbery sound from the skin and the long stems should be a vibrant green color and firm.
Can asparagus be frozen?
When not in use, keep asparagus in the refrigerator's crisper drawer. If you don't plan on eating them within 2 days, cut off the bottom half of each and store them in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel inside the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be stored in the fridge by placing them in a tall container with about an inch of water and covering the top loosely with a plastic bag. When the tips turn soft, it's time to throw them out.
In what ways can asparagus be cooked?
The plant must be trimmed all the way down because the stem at the base is too woody. Snapping it in half while holding the top and bottom with your fingertips will show you exactly where to cut off the inedible part. We can use the spears' inherent breaking point as a measuring stick for further trimming.
Waste can be minimized by removing the tough outer skin with a vegetable peeler. If you plan on roasting or sautéing the asparagus, make sure to wash it first, and try it with a towel so it doesn't steam instead of browning in the oven or on the stovetop.
The health benefits of asparagus
USDA's National Nutrient Database lists the following nutrients for 1 cup (134g) of asparagus:
- Calories: 27
- Protein Content: 2.95 g
- Weight: 0.12 g Fat: 0.12 g
- Protein Content: 3.88 Grams
- Weighing in at 2.1 g, fiber is an important
- Approximately 1.88 g of sugar
Asparagus has numerous health benefits.
It may come as a surprise to learn that Asparagus officinalis, the plant from which we get this nutrient-rich vegetable, is actually a perennial flowering plant. The entire green stem, not just the knobbly tips, is deliciously tender. It contains high concentrations of essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamins A, K, and E.
Flavonoids and polyphenols found in asparagus give it potent antioxidant properties. Digestion is aided by the mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers present, which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. The asparagusic acid is responsible for that strange aftertaste. It breaks down to sulfur-containing compounds when digested which are highly volatile
How can I incorporate asparagus into my cooking?
Check out all the Asparagus dishes
Yes The vegetable prefers room temperature storage because of its high water content and short shelf life when refrigerated. The spears can be rehydrated if they are limp but not old and mushy. Just cut off the tough ends, submerge them in an inch of water, wrap the exposed portions in plastic, and store them in the fridge overnight. In time, the spears will harden and regain their original feel.
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- Remove the tough bottom 1–2 inches of the asparagus.
- Mix the salt and water in a large pot. Cook the asparagus by adding it to water once it has come to a boil.
- Asparagus only needs 1–3 minutes in the microwave before it's bright green and fork-tender.
- Asparagus should be cooled immediately in an ice water bath if it won't be eaten right away. It's best to reheat it right before serving and add any necessary seasonings.
- Asparagus should have the bottom 1–2 inches of the tough ends trimmed off.
- Fill a pot with water until it reaches just below the steamer basket. Put the asparagus and the steaming basket into the pot. The water in a covered pot on high heat should be steaming after a few minutes.
- Cook the asparagus for 2 to 4 minutes once the steam begins to build, or until it is bright green and tender to the fork.
- If you aren't planning on eating your steamed asparagus right away, you can stop the cooking process by placing it in an ice water bath. Reheat just before serving, and add seasonings as desired.
- Put the rack in the middle of the oven. Put in the oven and turn the temperature up to 204 degrees F.
- Remove the bottom 1 to 2 inches of the asparagus to remove the tough ends.
- Spread the oiled and salted asparagus out on a baking sheet. Prepare a foil lining for the tray to facilitate cleanup.
- Shake the pan a few times after 5 minutes of roasting.
- Continue roasting the asparagus for another 3–5 minutes, or until it is browned on the outside and tender.
- Asparagus should have its tough bases removed before it is cut into 2-inch spears.
- Start by preheating a large sauté pan over medium heat, or a wok if you're planning on doing any sort of stir-frying.
- Add the olive oil or butter once the pan is hot.
- Sauté the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
- Put in some salt and pepper
- Place a rack in the top third of the oven, no closer than 6 inches to the top heating element.
- Remove about 1-2 inches of the woody ends from the bottoms of the asparagus.
- If your oven has a broil setting, turn it on high.
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper the asparagus before spreading it out on a baking sheet. Use foil to line the tray to make cleanup simpler.
- Broil 8-10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and has a slight charred appearance on the edges.
- Asparagus should have the bottom 1–2 inches of the tough ends trimmed off.
- Warm a sizable skillet over moderate heat.
- Olive oil and butter, then asparagus once the butter has melted.
- Coat the asparagus in oil and butter using tongs.
- Three minutes, covered, will get you bright green, crisp asparagus.
- Take the lid off and crank up the heat. To taste, add salt and pepper
- For 3–5 minutes, turning with tongs, sear the asparagus until it is browned on the outside.
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Categorized as: American Baking Cooking 101 Dairy-Free Easter Gluten-Free Healthy Recipes How To Ingredient Guides Keto Kitchen Tips Low Carb Paleo Roasting Side Dish Spring Stovetop Summer Vegan Vegetables Vegetarian Veggie Sides Whole30
Officially released on April 22, 2019
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I'm a mom who grew up baking croissants, graduated from culinary school, and wrote a cookbook. To help you become more comfortable in the kitchen, creating recipes and explaining the science behind cooking is one of my greatest passions.
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