Did you know asparagus has two completely different tastes depending on how you cook it?
If you are interested in learning how to REALLY cook asparagus let’s discuss.
Asparagus is a springtime vegetable and the best time to buy a bunch is a few weeks into the spring (early April).
When buying your asparagus always remove the middle spear and inspect it.
Make sure the spear is straight and bright green.
Check the tip and make sure it is crisp.
When asparagus begins to rot the tip will be the first part to get soft.
Finally make sure the spear is stiff.
A soft, floppy, spear of asparagus is an old piece of asparagus ; )
So let’s learn why asparagus is so complex.
The different parts of the asparagus spear have different tastes and should be dealt with in different ways when cooking it.
Take your bunch of asparagus, place it on a cutting board, and inspect it for a moment.
Cut off the bottom 2 inches of the spears and throw them away, because this portion of the asparagus will be very bitter.
Now slice off the next 2 inches of the spears and dice them.
This portion will not be bitter, but it will have a strong taste. Place these pieces in the fridge and use them the next time you make a salad.
The remaining 6 to 7 inches of your asparagus spears is what you want to cook with.
Asparagus is such a complex vegetable that it has two distinct tastes depending how it is heated.
If you cook asparagus with a dry heat.
For example, you roast it in the oven.
The dry heat of your oven will emphasize the amino acids in the spears.
This dry heating method will make your asparagus taste more “meatier” and less like a vegetable.
But if you cook your asparagus with a wet heat.
For example you steam it, or stir fry it.
The wet heat will give you a greener, grassier, vegetable flavor.
Given that you know some of the hidden complexities of this vegetable are you ready to experience the differences?
To taste the grassy, green taste of Asparagus try your hand at making a simple parmesan risotto.
To experience the richer and meatier taste of asparagus we would recommend cooking a simple roasted asparagus dish with prosciutto where we will use only dry heat.
Read recipe 3 and recipe 20 in our Easy Asparagus Cookbook at the following link:
These recipes will illustrate the deep complex differences of the asparagus. Are you ready to try something new?
Eat More Asparagus,