Asparagus

Asparagus is a member of the lily family. In ideal conditions asparagus can grow 10 inches in a 24-hour period. Thicker asparagus spears are best for roasting or grilling. The bigger the spears, the longer they take to cook & the more roasted flavour they will have. Thicker spears are also more succulent, almost meaty in texture. Thin spears are best steamed or grilled.

Varieties

  • Most common varieties are the green asparagus and white asparagus. The white asparagus is grown underground which prevents it from turning green.

Availability

  • Mid-February through July

Purchasing

  • Look for tall, straight spears. They should look as if they are "standing at attention."
  • Look for tightly packed heads that are not bruised or dry looking.
  • Look for brilliant green colour that fades from darker green at the tip to a lighter green at the base, or if purchasing white asparagus, it should be an ivory colour.
  • Thickness is not an indicator of tenderness. Both thick and thin spears can be equally tender.

Storing

  • Store in the fridge and use within 2 to 3 days. Store spears upright in a container of water, or wrap ends with a damp cloth.

Preparation/Cooking

  • Trim woody stems by snapping: hold base of spear in one hand and bend the stalk - it will break where woody part ends and tender portion begins.
  • Rinse spears in a sink of cold water.
  • Peel thick spears from just below tip down to the stem with a vegetable peeler before snapping ends.

Tips

Asparagus Math
1 lb of asparagus is equivalent to the following:
- 11-20 large spears
- 21-30 medium spears
- 31-35 small spears

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