Asparagus is a fibrous vegetable and an early season crop. In 2015, approximately 63 million pounds of asparagus was harvested in the US.
The recent reports have also claimed that there is an increase in the consumption of asparagus every year. The main reason is its nutritional benefits on human health.
I am pretty sure you haven’t tried it yet. And you are desperate to know what does asparagus taste like. Am I correct?
Nothing to be bothered about, I’ll clear out everything. In this article, I have shared my real-life experience and introduced the facts that definitely develop a specific liking for it.
Let me start from the beginning-
- 1 A Brief About Asparagus
- 2 What Vegetables Go With Asparagus?
- 3 Listed Below Are Some Of The Veggies That You Can Try At Home:
- 4 What Goes Well With Asparagus?
- 5 How To Cook Asparagus?
- 6 How Do You Store Asparagus?
- 7 Methods Of Storing Asparagus
- 8 How Do You Know When Asparagus Goes Bad?
- 9 Is Asparagus Good For Health?
- 10 What Are The Health Benefits Of Asparagus?
- 11 Listed below are its health benefits-
- 12 Final Words
A Brief About Asparagus
Asparagus is a unique green color vegetable with small narrow head and has pencil-sized stalks with feathery foliage. A few of its varieties are purple and white in color.
On cooking, the taste is much similar to broccoli but it is more bitter and salty. If you blend with other veggies, it adds a good compliment to the taste and enhances its flavor to a great extent.
Depending on cooking parameters, you can prepare fresh crisp or soggy one (whichever you like to taste). However, you can’t compare this taste to anything as the flavor is simply distinct.
Some people use it as a side dish whereas others have it as a snack.
What Vegetables Go With Asparagus?
Not all veggies taste good with this! There are a few combinations of vegetables that you must add in rotation for preparing unique flavors.
Certainly, it not only changes the taste on every occasion but also makes your preparation a bit interesting.
Listed Below Are Some Of The Veggies That You Can Try At Home:
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts, carrot and parsnip
- Potatoes, carrot and onion
- Mushroom and garlic
Apart from this, you can even add spring vegetables, zucchinis, tomatoes and chickpeas on rotations. Just tossed them with olive oil, pepper, salt, onion powder, herb and garlic to enhance the taste!
However, the way it tastes after preparation depends on how you cook it.
If you decide on adding other foods, it would be a good idea. Particularly, there are a few food items that really go well with asparagus.
What Goes Well With Asparagus?
I have prepared a list of food items that not only commonly available on the market but also enhance the taste greatly.
- Ham And Cheese
Add a bit extra salt to make it a bit salty or you can enjoy a plain taste (everything depends on your needs).
How To Cook Asparagus?
As you already know the name of specific food items, pick your recommended foods for preparing asparagus and cook them. Certainly, this information will make your food preparation stand out from others.
Particularly, there are five ways of cooking this said vegetable. It includes-
Simply place your asparagus on the cooking pot, add sufficient amount of water and cook it for at least three minutes. Don’t forget to cover the lid!
This method not only preserves the flavor but also makes it a bit softer.
Place a pan on the stovetop with olive oil or whichever oil is available in the kitchen! Heat it up and put chopped/whole asparagus spears.
Add some salt, pepper and cook until it absorbs most of the oil. Particularly, this process will reduce the flavor slightly.
Tie a batch into bundles, place them in a boiling pot, add salt and boil them for up to 2 – 5 minutes. Now, take it out and put them in ice-cold water that preserves the flavor and makes it a bit crunchy.
Store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer!
This method enhances the flavor to a great extent.
At first, you have to preheat the oven up to 350o F – 400o F. Season asparagus with salt, garlic, pepper, cheese, onion, lemon zest and roast it for 10 – 12 minutes.
Suppose it is chopped into small pieces, 8 minutes of roasting will be fine. Or, big pieces have to roast for up to 12 – 15 minutes.
- Stir Frying
Place a pan with olive oil (or prefer any other oil) and heat it up. Simply add the chopped asparagus, stir it for a minute or until it is cooked.
Remember, the basic principle for cooking the spears is to cook using any above-discussed methods. Just try to avoid overcooking or else, it ruins the taste!
How Do You Store Asparagus?
It’s common that we all want to store asparagus for a longer period of time. For this, you can either store fresh or cooked one depending on your needs.
Definitely, both ways can keep your food protected and prevented from harmful microbes’ formation. Let’s know how to store them in the kitchen-
Methods Of Storing Asparagus
- Simply Store Fresh Asparagus
This is one of the simplest methods of storing the said vegetable in the kitchen.
Purchase bright green in color bundles from the supermarket and trim the bottom portion of stalks using a sharp knife.
Take a big jar and fill it with an inch of water. Dip the stalks’ bottom end in the jar and keep them in an upright position. You can even tie them before dipping for appropriate storage.
Use a plastic over the top of the jar to cover its head. No need to tie and leave some space for air to pass on. Change the water occasionally when it looks like cloudy.
It is recommended to finish the stored vegetable within 7 – 10 days.
- Freeze Asparagus Spears
Choose fresh and thick asparagus! Chop the spears into small pieces (one-inch) and boil them for a minute or 30 seconds (don’t overcook).
Put them in the ice-cold water to stop cooking. Keep them for a minute to cool them down and transfer into another container to let them dry.
Before freezing, it is recommended to flash freeze them using a plastic box for up to an hour. It won’t make them a solid mass.
Now, remove them and place each icy piece in a freezer-safe container which is air-tight. Store it in the freezer. It keeps them in good condition for up to a year.
- Cook And Store Asparagus
You can prefer any of the above-discussed methods of cooking asparagus before storing. But it is advised not to overcook them.
Allow it to cool down and store them in an airtight container. You can even vacuum seal it for storage purpose. Now, keep it in the refrigerator.
It is recommended to finish them within a week time. Or else, it starts to lose the taste and texture as well.
Particularly, steaming and blanching are the ideal ways to retain the crisp texture and its flavor for a longer period of time (after cooking).
How Do You Know When Asparagus Goes Bad?
Fresh asparagus spears have a specific shelf life, after which, it is recommended not to eat them. You can determine when it goes bad over time by simple means.
Suppose you have stored asparagus for cooking but forget it to use before date, you can notice the bottom end of the stalk goes black or dark green in color.
It is the ideal sign of noticing that specifies your purchased item is not fresh now. You might also notice violet-tinged asparagus with firm stalks.
Other than this, you can find the stalks become a bit lose, smelly, develop black spots and filled with moisture. There is also a possibility of mold and fungi appearance on them. Just discard it immediately, as it is not safe to eat!
To ensure that you eat fresh, it is recommended to purchase in a limited amount.
Is Asparagus Good For Health?
Of course! It has many nutritional benefits. As it is a rich source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, it has the ability to provide certain health perks.
Some of the constituents include vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, folate, calcium, copper, iron and protein.
People should take advantage of eating this vegetable once a week. In this way, they won’t miss out from the intake of necessary nutrients required for maintaining a good health.
Eventually, they also get the opportunity to taste the distinct flavor of this unique vegetable.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Asparagus?
This spring vegetable has a lot of health benefits due to its nutritional constituents. It makes asparagus a healthy vegetable as well as an herbal medicine.
Listed below are its health benefits-
- It helps in digestion and fights against bloat to reduce acidity
- It is low in fat and calories that make it a good choice for losing weight
- It contains vitamin E, an antioxidant required for strengthening the immune system
- It has vitamin K that helps in coagulation and also checks bone health
This tells how crucial is to eat asparagus when you get a chance.
As you get to know the taste, cooking process and benefits of asparagus, it is the time to make your choice. Definitely, it is a versatile spring vegetable and can be eaten raw as well.
Try it today and share your experience with us in the comment!