How to cook asparagus

Asparagus is a low-calorie spring vegetable that is packed with calcium, iron, potassium and vitamins A and C. Fresh asparagus is perfect for so many dishes and there are plenty of ways to prepare it. Asparagus can be quite expensive compared to other vegetables so it is best to learn how to cook asparagus properly.

What you will need:

  • fresh asparagus
  • salt
  • bowl
  • saucepan or pot
  • steamer basket
  • microwave safe dish

Procedures:

1. Prepare the asparagus

  • Fill large bowl with cold water.
  • Submerge the asparagus to remove all the sand.
  • Remove the asparagus from the water.
  • Break each asparagus spear and discard the white ends that are tough.

2. Cook the asparagus with any of these methods:

  • Boiling: stand the asparagus spears in about 3 inches of boiling water, cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Blanch: half-fill the pot with water, add one tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until second boil begins. Quickly remove and dry on a towel.
  • Steam: put 1 inch of water into the saucepan and place the steamer basket in. Break the asparagus to fit in the steamer and steam for 5-7 minutes.
  • Microwave: Fill the microwaveable dish with ¼ cup of water. Add the asparagus spears and put the lid on the dish. Cook for 3 minutes in high power setting. Stir and check for doneness.

Tips:

  • To achieve the tender-crisp texture, asparagus needs to be cooked swiftly.
  • To know of the asparagus spears are done, poke a stalk with a knife. It should give a little resistance.
  • The freshest asparagus has firm spears and tightly closed tips. The color should be deep green.
  • To get the most out of the asparagus, it should be used within 3 days after purchasing.
  • Tying the asparagus in bundles eases the removal during cooking.
  • Cooked asparagus should be served right away because cold asparagus has a dull flavour.

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