Asparagus is a favorite vegetable for many people. Many admirers call it the "lord of the vegetables" because of the special care and attention they require. There are over 3, 000 species of asparagus, but the market only offers white, purple and green. Most widely spread is the green.
Buy asparagus with closed heads, a diameter up to 12 mm and smooth and solid rods. You'll know the fresh asparagus in that it looks shiny and juicy. If the asparagus has a yellowish color, it is off.
Keep it for up to three days in the refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth. In the freezer, it can stay for up to 8 months.
There are three basic options for preparing asparagus: blanching, stewing with butter or olive oil and steaming. To blanch asparagus, dip it for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, then immerse in cold water.
Before treatment of young asparagus, you should cut a small part of the stems, but just before cooking them. If you have a large asparagus, you should know that bottom is hard to chew and rough. Break off it or peel it, because you should keep only the part that are good for consumption.
The preparation of asparagus depends on it’s size. Thinner blades need no more than two minutes in the pan when processing them with butter or olive oil. Large asparagus are tender if cooked in hot, salted water for 5 minutes.
Best cooked asparagus is bright green in color and easy to cut with a knife. It combines very well with a sauce of blue cheese and walnuts, mangoes and capers, mustard sauce with tarragon, or curry sauce. If you want to make asparagus soup, keep the water in which you boiled it. Use it to prepare soup, because it is very rich in vitamins and minerals.