Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Asparagus

If you don't like Asparagus, I think it may be that you have had it out of season or poorly prepared.

You will see bunches of them in the stores now that it is in season. If you pick some up here is what to do with them.

Asparagus is best eaten fresh but if that's not possible, refrigerate it standing upright in a container of water, covered with a plastic bag for up to 3 days. Wash the asparagus paying attention to any grit in the tip. Bend each spear allowing it to break at it's natural breaking point (this gets rid of the ends that are hard and not as flavorful).

Tie the asparagus into a bundle with string. This way the spears will not fall over from an upright position when steaming. Arranging them this way allows the tougher area at the bottom of the stalks to get more thorough cooking than the tender asparagus tips. Arrange asparagus bundles in either a double boiler or pot with steamer insert or an asparagus cooker.
Bring the water under the asparugus to a boil and then cover the pot, steaming the spears for 2-8 minutes or when they turn bright green. Immediately rinse in cold water to retain their color.

For extra flavor, place the vegetable under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and all purpose seasoning mix.

We like to eat asparagus as a quick and simple side with chicken and Spring Risotto. Or, I under- steam the spears so they retain some crispness and mix segments into a salad.

Our favorite though is with Hollandaise sauce. Eggs Benedict is a Sunday morning tradition in my husband's family. But, cold cereal is ours. So sometimes on Saturday mornings I will break out the Hollandaise for Eggs Benedict and feel great about eating asparagus for breakfast as a side.

No comments: