How to cook PRODUCE
Asparagus can be roasted, sauteed, grilled, steam, or served raw when shaved. Just use caution, the texture of asparagus can be offputting when overcooked. I prefer to cook mine until just soft, but still has a bit of bite to the stalk.
How to buy PRODUCE
Depending on the size of asparagus you buy, it will differ in flavor and texture. The smaller spears are tender and milder, while the thicker stalks have a stronger flavor. It’s more important to look for stalks that look crisp and not dried out. Also, avoid stalks that have mushy tips.
How to store PRODUCE
I like to avoid using plastic if possible, which means I store asparagus on the counter, upright in a small bowl of water. Fresh asparagus will keep up to a week if stored this way. If you prefer the refrigerator, I recommend a tall glass jar that is not sealed.
I really like the crisp, earthy taste of roasted asparagus, an exciting spring vegetable. While I prefer the smaller, more tender stalk of asparagus, the thicker stalks are still perfectly edible. However, if you find the asparagus is especially woody, peel the outside before using. I typically grill or roast asparagus but also love the occasional raw, shaved asparagus salad.
Asparagus can be preserved by canning or by freezing. To freeze, simply cut into even pieces, blanch or steam for 2-3 minutes, pour into an ice bath, pat of excess moisture, and place in a freezable container. Canning takes a bit of special care, but there are good instructions on the Year of Plenty site!
In terms of varieties, asparagus comes in both green and purple, and the rare white, which has been grown underground. The dark leaves it void of the green color, which is how this happens. The flavor is more delicate and can be a beautiful presentation.