When buying asparagus, it is important to choose ones that have firm “snappy” stems. The tips should be well coloured and free of rust spots. It is a good to choose stalk of the same size so that they cook evenly.
The asparagus is fragile and, even when wrapped in a damp cloth, can only be kept for about one week. Once blanched however, they can be kept for about five months in the freezer,
Before cooking asparagus, it is necessary to remove the bottom of the stalk which is harder and more fibrous. It is also necessary to wash them well with cold water.
Asparagus can be cooked in water, by steaming or in the microwave oven. They are ready once they are tender and firm. Over-cooking makes them soft and diminishes their colour, taste and nutritional value.
Uses of asparagus
Whatever it is used for, asparagus is usually consumed cooked. Warm or hot it can be served with butter or Hollandaise sauce. Cold, it is good with a dressing, mayonnaise or mustard sauce. It can also be made into a puree and made into a soup or soufflé. Whole or cut into pieces, asparagus can be used as a trimming for omelettes, poultry, quiches, salads and pasta. It can even be sautéed and cooked Chinese style.