Did you know that spring is the best time to purchase asparagus? I sure didn’t! Apparently the spring’s first crop is the thinnest and most tender asparagus. I do really like asparagus (it’s fruit that I don’t care for, veggies? Bring ’em on!) Some tips on choosing good asaparagus are that they should be crisp, straight and firm with tightly closed tips. Obviously wilted asparagus isn’t very good.
Cooking tip: Select asparagus that are all close to the same size. That way they will cook evenly and together!
To store asparagus place it in the refrigerator with the bases wrapped in wet paper towels and inside a plastic bag. Asparagus is best the first day, so if you can plan the meal that you want to use the asparagus with for the first day after your shopping trip you will be better off, don’t plan it for any time after 3 days.
To prep the asparagus for cooking rinse them thoroughly under cool tap water. Bend the asparagus slightly to snap off the woody base.
And what discussion of Asparagus would be complete without a recipe?
Recipe of the Week
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1/8 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 450. Place asparagus in a 2-quart square baking dish. Sprinkle with pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss lightly to coat. Roast, uncovered, in the preheated oven about 15 minutes or until crisp tender, lightly tossing twice during roasting. Transfer asparagus to a warm serving platter. Sprinkle with cheese.