The common methods for cooking asparagus are boiling, steaming, grilling, and sauteing. Cook it on the stove and you will get tender, crisp asparagus in absolutely no time.
A simple trick to cook the best tasting asparagus is keeping a note of the cooking time. Not only does overcooked asparagus taste unpalatable, but it also contains less nutrients. While purchasing asparagus, look for the fresh, firm stalks with closed buds. In order words, avoid shriveled stalks that have soft spots. This veggie is popularly cooked by grilling, boiling, steaming, and stir frying with other vegetables. What about cooking fresh asparagus on the stove? Well, you can prepare a delectable, yet healthy side dish by cooking this green vegetable on the stove.
Cooking Asparagus on the Stove
Let’s first see how to prepare the asparagus spears. Hoping that you have purchased fresh spears, wash and rinse them properly under running tap. Place in a colander to drain off excess water. Or else, you can pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Now, bend a stalk until it breaks off at the hard portion. Likewise, snap off the woody part for all the spears. Another easy way is to trim the bottom with a sharp kitchen knife. Here’s how to cook asparagus on the stove.
Boiling Asparagus on the Stove
This is the easiest way for cooking asparagus spears. All you need is to heat water in a thick skillet until it boils, and then introduce pre-cut asparagus stalks. Pour water in a large skillet, heat it over medium high heat, and add salt in the cooking water to add flavor.
Allow water to boil, and add asparagus. Continue boiling for 4-5 minutes, and turn off the heat. Immediately rinse the spears with cold water to preserve crunchy texture and also, their bright green color.
Steaming Asparagus on Stove Top
A healthier alternative to boiling asparagus is steaming it. This allows conservation of maximum nutrients, which otherwise are wasted in the cooking water. Steaming asparagus is best done in a rack or steaming basket, but you can also steam it in stove.
Regarding how to steam asparagus on the stove, consider tying the stalks with a string, and stand the bundle in a narrow saucepan. Pour water to about 2 inch from the bottom of the saucepan. If desired, you can flavor water with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Heat saucepan with the asparagus till water boils. Reduce heat, and steam for 4-5 minutes, or until asparagus becomes tender.
Grilling Asparagus on Stove Top
For this method, you will need a griddle pan along with other supplies. First of all, tie the prepared asparagus spears with a string and place in a pan. Fill water to about two-third of the asparagus height, and heat. As you wait for the water to boil, prepare dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice with salt and water.
As water reaches rolling boil temperature, reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes. Remove partly cooked asparagus and transfer in ice water. Drain them properly, and coat with dressing mixture. Then, heat griddle and grill asparagus spears for 3 minutes per side.
Sauteing Asparagus on the Stove
For sauteing asparagus on the stove, select tender spears having uniform thickness. Prepare them in the same way as described above. For even cooking, you can peel the stalks, so that the width in the tip and bottom remains the same.
Once you are done with the preparation part, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat on the stove. Add a teaspoon of butter to the pan, and add asparagus. Cook it for 4-6 minutes, while stirring occasionally with a wooden spatula. Transfer asparagus in a serving platter, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot. You may be interested in knowing how long do you cook asparagus.
So, wasn’t cooking asparagus on the stove easy for you? At the time of serving, drizzle freshly squeezed lemon juice over hot asparagus, and sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper. If you love to have flavorful seasonings, add a scoop of low-fat butter or margarine, and sprinkle roasted almonds, sesame seeds and celery seeds. Or, you can simply add a spoonful of butter and salt for serving asparagus.