Tis the season for my home grown asparagus! My husband doesn’t like asparagus so it’s all mine! I just love asparagus fixed almost any way. Because it is just starting to pop up, I check it every two days and pick what ever is ready. I store it in the refrigerator until I have a big enough batch to eat. Whether you grow your own asparagus or buy it from the store, keep it in the refrigerator. I do not wash it yet, I just place it in a tall glass with about an inch of water. Remove any rubber bands or anything holding it together if you get it from the store. I keep it this way for up to a week but mine is freshly picked. The store bought asparagus should be OK for 2-3 days.
Asparagus only has about 30 calories in an 8″ stalk. It is very high in folic acid and vitamin C. When you buy it they should be smooth, bright green, slime free and smell fresh. The cut end should be moist, not dried out or woody looking.
To prepare the asparagus, grasp each thin stalk at the bottom and the middle. Bend the stalk until it snaps. Throw away the bottom part and keep the rest. For the thick stalks, lay them flat and cut off the white portion of the stalk. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin of the lower portion of the stalk as this is very tough.
Asparagus can be cooked many ways. One simple method is to first wash the asparagus. Put salted water into a large enough fry pan that the asparagus can lay flat in a single layer. The water should just cover the asparagus. Simmer thin stalks for about 2-3 minutes. Thick stalks will usually take about 8-10 minutes. The stalks are done when they are tender and bend slightly when you stab them with a fork in the middle and hold them horizontally. Once done, dip the stalks immediately into a bowl with ice water or quickly run cold water on them to stop the cooking process. I like to fix them with butter, salt and herbs. So go ahead and grow your own asparagus patch or buy a bunch from the store. Either way, there are many recipes out there for asparagus so give them a try!