Monday, May 01, 2006

Keeping Fresh Asparagus Fresh

It's spring in case you haven't noticed and fresh local asparagus is readily available. It's my favorite vegetable and I've even been known to buy it during the winter when it's overpriced and not as flavorful as now. It really means "winter is finally over" even when it's not, but I digress....

I used to buy a bunch and wonder why the stalks shriveled and the tops wilted or got slimy after a couple of days. Then I paid attention at the grocery store. They usually display asparagus standing upright in some water. It really does keep it fresh longer.

So I keep some in the fridge in a container with about 2" of water. It lasts for more than a week.

Can you see my favorite mustard peeking out beside the asparagus? It's Kozlik's Balsamic & Fig and just 1 tsp tossed with steamed asparagus is amazing.

If there's anyone out there with other ideas, please share them in the comments.

Please email me any of your questions, and if I don't have the answer, I'll certainly try find it for you.
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gina said...

I love roasted asparagus best -- it imparts a nutty flavor to the stalks that can't be beat. I wash them, snap the bottoms off, and then lay them out on a cookie sheet while preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

I drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and minced garlic (or garlic infused olive oil) and roast them for 10-15 minutes, until they sizzle and are turning dark brown in places.

A terrific appetizer:
* Roast the asparagus as directed above, complete with the garlic and olive oil.
* Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes.
* Wrap centers of each aparagus stalk with a piece of proscuitto, so that the meat can act as a "handle" for people to pick it up. *Note: Salumi has the best proscuitto money can buy, and it is a better price than most groceries and specialty markets --
* Plate the proscuitto wrapped stalks and drizzle them with about a tablespoon of good quality balsamic vinegar.

People LOVE this super simple treatment.

Anonymous said...

One of my favourite starters when hosting a dinner party has to be pan-grilled asparagus with halloumi and sweet chilli sauce.

Blanch the asparagus for a quick minute to start cooking them, then put them in a griddle pan with a touch of olive oil. Grill them until they gain slight pan lines, while doing the same thing with sliced halloumi ("the cheese that doesn't melt", from Cyprus).

When done, serve up in a plate with a dab of sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Everyone's always impressed by this starter, when in reality it's insanely easy to make!

Ruth Daniels said...

Gina, Vero, the recipes are delicious. My favorite way also, is roasting and for fancy appetizers, wrapped in proscutto or ham. Now I have a new bundle to create. Thanks for sharing.

In fact I'm going to link here from my other asparagus recipes