Asparagus is best prepared simply and is packed with vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Take advantage of the short season and enjoy it thoroughly while it's here!
Asparagus' sugars will turn rapidly to starches, reducing its great flavor. Refrigerate immediately and use quickly. Wrap asparagus in a damp cloth and store in the crisper drawer, or bundle spears with a rubber band and place upright in a container with a bit of water.
Raw asparagus is delicious and high in vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Try it in salads or blended with apples or strawberries in a smoothie. Like most veggies, it will lose some of those nutrients with cooking, but is best cooked simply. Snap off the bottom woody part of the spears and either steam in a covered pot with a little water for 10 minutes, or simmer in a skillet with an inch of lightly salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Either way produces vibrant green and crispy spears. Season with salt, lemon pepper, fresh lemon, or serve it plain with just a little butter.
Because asparagus will start to lose nutrition and flavor soon after harvest, preserving it should be done soon after it's brought home from the market. It can be frozen, dried, canned, or pickled. A great website for preserving your harvest of asparagus is http://www.preservingyourharvest.com/Asparagus.html
Matthew and Susan Smith, Blue Valley Gardens
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce
8 Tablespoons of butter
3 1/2 - 4 cups chopped onions
8 cups chicken stock
2 pounds asparagus
1/2 cup cream
salt, pepper, fresh thyme or dill to taste
Heat butter in soup pot, add onions, and cook until tender. Add stock; bring to boil. Cut tips off asparagus; reserve. Chop stems and add to pot. Simmer gently until asparagus is very tender, 15-20 minutes. Puree in a food processor and return puree to pot. Add tips; cook gently 5-10 minutes. Stir in cream, salt, and pepper. Add thyme or dill; if you use dried herbs, add them to the onions as they cook. Makes 8-10 servings.
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
2 ½ cups water
½ cup pickling or kosher salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 pinch chili flakes
1 bulb garlic – peel and trim cloves
2 lb asparagus – trim off woody end and wash well