Asparagus hasn’t quite shown up at the Farmer’s Market yet but I’ve seen it in stores and it’s in my garden, as well. The recommended size to buy asparagus is when it’s pencil sized. I have to admit that this is when I find it to be the most tender. If it gets too large, then it has a tendency to get woody and tough.
Storing your asparagus until you’re ready to use, isn’t difficult at all. Trim off the ends, put a little water into a glass container (I usually use a wide mouth quart jar) and in goes the asparagus. Put into the refrigerator and it will keep for several days.
To prepare asparagus for cooking, break the end of the stock off and discard (for composting or tossing). Cutting works too.
When cooking in the oven, I prefer a higher temperature (400-450 degrees). For me, I prefer the quicker cooking so that they don’t get overcooked and mushy (I have a texture issue when it comes to food). In the summer months, I really like putting them on the grill. You can either put them directly on the grill or on a shallow pan (I usually buy the disposal aluminum pans so that I can throw away when they get too “icky”). Pan frying also works, but I haven’t mastered it yet and they usually end up in that “mushy” stage that I don’t care for.
Here are a few of my personal favorite ways to make asparagus:
Oven Roasted with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese — place asparagus in a shallow pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese. Roast until tender — usually about 20 minutes either in the oven or on the grill.
Bacon wrapped Asparagus — take about 4-6 spears of asparagus and wrap them in a piece of bacon (I know, I know — stop your moaning), place them either in a shallow pan in the over or on the grill and cook until the bacon is how you like it.
Note: This has become our FAVORITE way to eat asparagus, at the moment. I mean, how can you go wrong with bacon!!!
Roasted with potatoes, onions and mushrooms – prepare ingredients (and any others that you might like — peppers, maybe) and put into a pan. I like to use a 9×13 pan, either a glass one for the over or a aluminum one for the grill. Drizzle with a oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Also found a few other recipes that you might enjoy!
We eat a lot of salads in the spring and summer so I’m anxious to try a couple of these.