Did you know? The ancient Egyptians loved asparagus and called it a “food of the gods”
Asparagus – April to June
Ready, set, go…. when the asparagus season starts be the first to the shop as you’ve only got six weeks to enjoy this tender and flavoursome aphrodisiac. Steam, boil, stir fry, barbecue, or just eat raw but make sure it’s sitting in pride of place on your dinner table, preferably with a big pot of aioli sitting next to it. The important thing to remember when cooking asparagus is that they take just a minute or two to cook and should be devoured just as quickly.
Toward the end of the season before asparagus opens up and ‘ferns’ (see image), the base will become woody and need more of the fibrous exterior removed. To do this cut the very base off and peel the hard exterior down to the soft core.
Asparagus has a strong but delicate stand-alone flavour that doesn’t need complicating, this is a vegetable to cook simply. It is best eaten as fresh as possible so buy as local as possible.
Zero waste Asparagus tips:
- Keep asparagus fresh by standing the stalks in a cup of water in the fridge. Just like cut flowers, cut a centimetre off the bottom and stand in water. Like this your asparagus will stay fresher for longer. No more floppy stems.
- Don’t snap asparagus! Here’s how to prepare them with the least waste. Cut the bottom inch of the stalk off and take a bite to test the texture. Decide whether you need to cut more or less. The tougher part of the stalk can be finely sliced or added to soups. And if the fibrous skin gets any higher it can be peeled.
- Don’t bin it! Chargrill old asparagus for the best flavour and texture. Granted, freshness is king when it comes to asparagus, however, even a tired example can still be rendered delicious when treated right. Rather than lightly blanch older asparagus, render them delicious by roasting, grilling or barbecuing them on a high temperature, cooking them very quickly, whilst mildly charring the exterior.
This article was inspired by Vegpower.org.uk