How to Buy & Store Asparagus
- Look for tight tips and small leaves on the side of the stalk that cling to its body.
- The cut end should be moist, not frayed, browned or dry.
- Spears should be smooth, not wrinkled.
- Storing asparagus is simple: keep them standing in a few inches of water in the refrigerator, tented with a zip-loc bag. Cold temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees in a moist environment will limit respiration and water loss.
How to Steam, Roast & Sauté
- Snap the spears to find the natural break point; use the stem end pieces for soups or sauces and steam the upper portions of the stalks in salted water.
- Steaming makes for tastier tips. The asparagus tips are done cooking when the cut end of the spear is softened.
- Roasting or wok sautéing are my favorite techniques for dealing with asparagus. The very nature of dry-heat cooking makes for a greater natural flavor concentration and higher vitamin retention. The caramelizing that takes place in either technique yields a heightened level of contrast with the sweet moist interiors of the spears.
Asparagus Recipes to Try