Feast of the First Asparagus

How to choose asparagus Asparagus is thick and thin, green, white and purple. The most expensive is white asparagus. This is the product of the aristocrats. Wild asparagus with a thin stem is very useful, but pencil-thin asparagus is more often sold in stores. In cooking, the entire stem of the plant is used. Choose even, straight stems with intact tips. Tips should be closed, not dry or wet. Fresh asparagus has a smooth, unwrinkled stem. Asparagus tied in a bundle is convenient for sale, but it is not very good for the plant: closely tied stems release moisture and “sweat”, which leads to rotting. How to store asparagus If you bought asparagus in a bundle, the first thing you do when you get home is untie the bundle. If you’re not going to cook right away, put the asparagus in a plastic bag. Asparagus can be stored in a vegetable basket for several days. If you have grown asparagus in your garden, place the cut stems in a pitcher of water and cover with a plastic bag. But don’t forget about them. How to cook asparagus Asparagus can be boiled, fried, stewed, steamed, or grilled. It can be eaten hot, warm and chilled. Salads, soups, pies and souffles are prepared from asparagus. Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks. Before cooking, it is better to tie the asparagus into small bunches with the tops in one direction. Dry the cooked asparagus with paper towels and then drizzle with oil or sauce. It is better to spray the asparagus with wine vinegar just before serving – then the acid will not destroy the color and taste of the plant. Nuances Asparagus grows in sandy soil, so it needs to be washed well. Dip the stems in a container of water for 15 minutes, drain the water and rinse the asparagus thoroughly under running water in a colander. Peel green asparagus with a potato peeler from the middle of the stalk downwards. White asparagus is only peeled at the top. Thick asparagus is best cut into pieces first, and then peeled. While many choose not to peel asparagus, peeled stalks, especially thick ones, are much tastier. Foods to pair with asparagus oils: olive oil, butter, roasted peanut oil, black sesame seed oil; – herbs and spices: tarragon, chervil, mint, parsley, basil, sage – cheeses: Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese; – fruits: lemon, orange; – vegetables and legumes: potatoes, shallots, leeks, artichokes, peas. Source: realsimple.com Translation: Lakshmi

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