6 hours ago
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Now, let me ask you this: Is there anything better than asparagus? Pungent urine notwithstanding, there is something so wonderful and fresh about this lovely veg. And it tastes so good with everything- you can throw it in a salad, an omelet or pasta, and it's obviously a great side, too. Technically it's in season in the spring, but it's widely available all year, which is good since we eat it at least once a week.
However, to really enjoy this awesomeness, you've got to know a little bit about how to choose and prepare it. Here are some tips for how to enjoy your asparagus to the fullest.
1. Look for straight, bright, crisp green stalks without any wilting, brown spots or wrinkling. Look for tips that are tightly formed, and dark green or purplish, with no soft or liquidy spots. If you still can't tell, take a whiff- it definitely shouldn't smell gross (or really much at all). Try to buy bunches with stalks that are roughly the same thickness- that way they will cook uniformly.
2. When you get the asparagus home, slightly trim the ends, and place upright in a stable container with an inch of water at the bottom (like bouquet of flowers), and keep in the fridge until you are ready to use. I swear it will stay fresher longer this way!
3. To avoid cooking the woody stems, use this tip: Instead of cutting off the ends, hold the stalk of asparagus at both ends, and exert gentle pressure to snap the stock. It will naturally break exactly where the tough internal fibers give way, leaving you with just the most delicious tender part.
4. Asparagus is delicious steamed or grilled, but my favorite thing to do is boil it (you'll know it's done when the stalks turn a uniformly grass-green color and you can insert a fork into the stalk without difficulty). Top with a little butter, parsley, and fresh grated lemon rind. You won't want to eat anything else ever again.