How to Cook Asparagus

If you haven't tried cooking asparagus at home, you've come to the right place. In this article, we've provided the basic information required to cook this vegetable. Take a look at how it's prepared.
Tastessence Staff
Considered a delicacy across the globe, asparagus is a vegetable that is available in three colors: green, purple, and white. This luxury vegetable is high in vitamin A and C, folate, and glutathione. Glutathione is a great antioxidant and is also an anti-carcinogenic compound. With its spear-like appearance, this vegetable is available from late February till June, however, the frozen or canned variety is available all through the year. Let's take a look at how this vegetable is cooked.

Cooking Fresh Asparagus

Asparagus should be cooked as soon as possible, and should not be refrigerated for more than 5 days. So once you decide to cook them, the first step is washing them. Soak the stalks in a bowl of cold water to clean them well. Next, trim about one-third of the asparagus, using a paring knife. This will help remove the hard, woody, fibrous part of the stalks. Then, with the help of a vegetable peeler, peel the stalk till the tip.

To cook them, drop them into a skillet filled with half a cup of water. Add a slice of lemon to it. Cover the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Besides boiling, you can also steam them in a rice cooker or grill them. To grill them, preheat the grill and brush the rack with oil. Then place the vegetable directly over the grill on medium heat, turning occasionally. Cook until brown.

You can even roast them in the oven. For this you need to preheat the oven to 500ºF, and spread the asparagus onto a baking sheet. The tips should be placed towards the center of the sheet. Coat the stalks with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and roast. Turn once when halfway through. Cook for 10 minutes until the asparagus has wilted and browned. Then add 2 tablespoons of water and cover the dish. Cook the same on high power for 8 minutes, till crisp and tender.

Fresh Asparagus Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Method of Preparation

The tough ends of the asparagus should be snapped off. Cook them for 6 to 8 minutes, in a skillet filled with a small amount of water. Once they've cooked and become crisp and tender, drain the water. Arrange the asparagus spears in a serving dish. Keep warm.

Now, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat and add flour. Stir till a smooth consistency has been reached. Gradually add chicken broth and half-and-half. Stir constantly and cook till thickened and bubbly. Whisk in mustard, lemon juice, and pepper into the thickened sauce. Then, spoon the sauce over the asparagus. Serve immediately.

Asparagus is an easy-to-cook vegetable, that's not fussy and can be cooked quickly. It's a healthy and flavorful vegetable that makes a great side dish. So the next time you have roast chicken for dinner, don't forget to place asparagus on the side!