Everyone should know how to cook asparagus because it is a deeply underrated vegetable.
Asparagus is a great source of fibre, folate and vitamins A, C, and E making it a cracking vegetable to have in your repertoire. With strong detoxifying properties and anti-carcinogens present, learning how to cook asparagus should be high on your priority list of you’re keen on overall health.
Asparagus is extremely low in calories at about four calories per spear. It has no fat, and is very low in sodium making it a great vegetable for those of us watching our salt intake.
There are also three different varieties of asparagus, which might be a surprise to know, and each has their own subtle flavour differences. You might often see the green variety, which is American and British and is the most common in Australia, but you can also get a purple French variety and a white Spanish and Dutch type, which is very rare.
Eating asparagus raw in a salad while it’s at its freshest is the best way to keep all of those nutrients alive, however, roasting, grilling, stir-frying or steaming is also great. The trick is to eat it while it is still vibrantly green with a crunch, and not dull or greying.
How do I prepare asparagus?
Remove the bottom three or so centimetres of each asparagus stem before cooking or eating as this can be woody and chewy. Some people suggest simply bending it and it will break where the asparagus is best, but often that can remove more than truly necessary.
How do I store asparagus?
When buying asparagus look for firm and bright spears, in a uniform size. The tips should be compact, and the spears should be crisp when snapped. Storing asparagus is different to other vegetables, and should be treated more like fresh flowers than food. Asparagus needs to be stored in cool and humid conditions, so your refrigerator is the best sport for them.
To keep them moist, there are two ways that are recommended to store your asparagus:
1. Clean spears, wrap in a damp tea towel, then put in a plastic bag in crisper in the fridge.
2. Stand spears in a jar or container with 1cm water, and store upright in the fridge.
How do I cook asparagus?
Asparagus can be eaten raw, but you can also coot it to get a richer flavour from the vegetable. Roasting, grilling, stir-frying or steaming are all great ways to enjoy this healthy vegetable.
How to steam asparagus
To steam your asparagus, place it into the steamer over a rolling boil of water. Cook for five minutes until asparagus is vibrantly green and still a slight crunch to bite.
How to grill or BBQ asparagus
If you are grilling or barbecuing, lightly cover each piece in olive oil and season and grill for two to three minutes per side.
How to stir fry asparagus
If you are cooking asparagus in a stir-fry, toss it in last minute with the snow peas as they take only two to three minutes to cook when chopped into pieces and eat them al dente.
A super easy and delicious asparagus and egg recipe to try
Asparagus and egg are a combination made to go together. Either a soft-poached or boiled egg with asparagus and avocado on rye as a light lunch or brunch.