Spring has finally sprung!
It's that wonderful time of the year where we start to see this year’s new crops start to pop out of the ground. The first one up is, you guessed it, Asparagus!
The perennial Asparagus is typically one of the first crops of the year here in Alberta and we are proud to have Tamminga Farms and Bugsy’s Asparagus as our two main suppliers. If you haven’t already heard the news, the first batch of this season’s asparagus dropped this week! So get your hands on them while you can, they won’t be available for long.
It may be your first time cooking asparagus or you are looking for some inspiration on a different way to cook this amazing seasonal vegetable, either way we've got you covered. In this blog post we'll tell you 6 ways you can cook asparagus and some chef-level tips.
Chef Tip 1: The best way to store asparagus after it arrives at your home, is by placing it in a heavy-bottomed jar or mason jar and adding a couple inches of water. Place the jar with the asparagus in the fridge and it will stay fresh for several days (though it may not last several days!).
Chef Tip 2: Asparagus tends to have a woody stalk end to the spear. This does not eat well and needs to be trimmed. You can cut the end off or snap it off with two hands, it should break naturally where the woody stem starts. This is a great activity to do with the kids, they can assist in dinner prep!
6 Ways To Cook Asparagus
Now that you are ready to cook some asparagus, here are some ideas on how to prepare them for your next meal or snack!
- Roasted: Preheat oven to 400F, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 7-10min.
- Grilled: Drizzle with canola oil, season with salt and pepper, grill on medium high heat for 3-5min, finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice!
- Steamed: Place asparagus spears in the top half of the steamer pan set. Steam until asparagus is tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness.
- Shaved / Raw: Use a speed or “Y” peeler to peel ribbons of asparagus to use in salads
- Sautéed: Saute asparagus (whole or cut into coins) in a hot pan with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for 2-3min or until tender.
- Broiled: Preheat your oven on broil. Toss asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Place asparagus on a lined baking sheet and top with grated parmesan cheese, broil for 5-7min or until parmesan is golden and asparagus is tender. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Any way you choose to cook asparagus, it will be delicious. You can also get creative with some of the seasonings and spices; from sesame seeds to paprika, the combinations are endless! We hope you enjoy this season’s asparagus as much as we are.