Spring has sprung, and that means the thin, tender stalks of asparagus are ready to tempt us again. Easy to prepare, great in many dishes, and at their peak, asparagus is the perfect addition to your Spring recipes.
When you’re buying asparagus, choose firm stalks that are bright green in color with tight tips and moist, not dried out, ends.
How to Store
Though it is best eaten fresh, store it in the refrigerator standing in an upright position in a container of water. Cover with a plastic bag.
How to Prep
After purchasing your asparagus, use a vegetable peeler to peel and trim fat spears. To do this, lay a spear on a flat surface. Hold the tip of the stalk and starting from about an inch below the tip, peel the thin skin from the speak. Trim off the end with a knife.
How to Steam
If you want a simple, steamed dish, and love your asparagus, consider investing in a tall, narrow asparagus pot with a basket. To steam in here, add about 2 inches of water to the pot and bring to a low boil. Use kitchen twine to tie together the peeled and trimmed asparagus into a loose bundle. Put it in the basket, then place the basket in the pot. Cover and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the basket and cover until serving. If you don’t have an asparagus pot, lay the stalks in a colander or steamer and put it over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, about 5 minutes.
How to Boil
To boil the spears instead, fill a deep skillet with water. Add a generous portion of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the peeled and trimmed asparagus to the skillet. Boil under tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the spears from the water with a slotted spatula or tongs, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Keep warm until serving.
Chilled Asparagus and Kale Soup
This soup is easy to prepare with minimal ingredients, so be sure to choose in-season asparagus for the best flavor.
Serves 4 to 6
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 pounds asparagus cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
8 ounces kale, destemmed
6 thin asparagus spears, tips removed, thinly sliced lengthwise