Cooking Delicious Asparagus
For dinner at home, with or without company, I like to serve asparagus fresh asparagus, because it can get cleaned, cut and steamed in the microwave in less than 10 minutes. I steamed the “spears” just to the point where they are tender but still have a bite to them. Then simply add a pinch of salt, pepper, and sometimes a dash of fresh lemon juice, and asparagus is ready to serve.
Buy asparagus that has nice bright green stems and is not dry or wrinkled. Depending on the season, you can buy asparagus that is thin pencil or stems that are three times thicker than a pencil! I prefer a little thicker stems then peel. Many years ago, my old friend Roger Bennett (London, Montreal, and St. Remy) taught me the trick to peeling. (Look down.)
Asparagus is sold by the group. There are approximately 14 to 18 per bunch asparagus tips. Having about 3 to 5 spears per serving.
Do only what you will eat for dinner. Asparagus cooks very quickly in the microwave so it makes no sense to make enough for leftovers.
If you are not used immediately, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. It should be kept about 3-4 days.
- Wash a bunch of asparagus with cold running water.
- Trim the bottom of the stem 1/3. The tip of the asparagus is very tender, but the further down the stem goes, the harder it gets.
- If you bend the asparagus that naturally pressure at the point where he is bidding for hard (usually about 1/3 of the stem).
- Leslie shows this method in the post startcooking.com roast asparagus with garlic sauce.
- You can now use the new short “broken” asparagus as a guide to cut the rest of the group.
- Peel the stems so that they are the same width as the tip. This ensures even cooking. Really thin stalks of asparagus are not necessary to peel.
- Place the asparagus two fifty-eight deep in a rectangular plate.
- Add a tablespoon of water.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Leave a small opening in the corner to vent steam. (This also helps the plastic wrap from almost shrink itself over the asparagus. When that happens it’s much harder to remove the plastic wrap. (Be careful not to get burned by hot steam!)
Setting the microwave cooking at high temperature and asparagus about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. If you want your asparagus to be more sensitive, cook for another 30 seconds or so.
Be sure not to overcook the asparagus. overcooked asparagus not only becomes mush, but it becomes a very unattractive shade of green.
Asparagus is great served hot or cold. If you will be serving cold you need to get the spears cooked quickly cooled or will lose their bright green color. You can put hot spears in a bowl of ice water …
… Or in a colander and run cold water over the spears.
For more tips on startcooking.com blanch vegetables check out keep it cool: Learn to Blanch.
Ingredients: (Makes 3-4 servings)
- A bunch of asparaguses
- 1 tablespoon water
- Salt and pepper