It’s Spring and Asparagus is in season right now in Australia. It’s cheap and is readily available at your local green grocer or supermarket. At home we love to eat fresh Asparagus as a quick snack, the spears are sweet and crunchy and fantastic for dipping in your favourite dip. Just give them a quick rinse first.
Nutritionally, Asparagus is low in calories and packed full of nutrients. It is a good source of fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K and antioxidants. Look for plump green bunches with good colour and firm stems and tips. Some tips for choosing the best Asparagus spears include –
– Always choose the smallest width stems possible. These won’t be as stringy or fibrous as the thicker steams which may not be so tender to eat but are perfect to use to make vegetable stock.
– Trim the very bottom of the stem by about 1 cm to 1 inch of the stem to remove the tough fibres at the base before cooking.
– Look carefully at the sides of the stems in the bunch when purchasing. If they are wrinkly the Asparagus is old or hasn’t been stored correctly and it has dehydrated. This will make it tough.
– Check the tips for any sign that they are starting to go soft/rotting and for signs of mould growth. Avoid these bunches completely.
I find the best way to store fresh Asparagus is to chop off about an inch off the base and pop straight into 1 inch or so of fresh water in your favourite vase or cup and pop it on your kitchen bench. Better than fresh flowers and much tastier. Perfect!!!!
Asparagus can be used in a range of fantastic recipes. It can be pickled, used in cream based and vegetable soups, added to the base for stocks, charred, grilled, BBQ’d or pan fried, diced and added to omelettes, wrapped in proscuitto and baked, served fresh whole or shredded in salads, or used to load up your favourite dressing or dip the uses really are endless.
Some of my Favourite recipes using Asparagus include –
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