Cooking School

How to buy, store and cook asparagus

Photography by Klaus Arras (stockfood.ca) Image by: Photography by Klaus Arras (stockfood.ca) Author: Canadian Living

Cooking School

How to buy, store and cook asparagus

What to look for
Choose firm spears with tightly closed tips. The first spears of each year’s harvest are often the most robust and intensely flavoured of the season.

Thick or thin?
Many people assume that thin spears are more tender. That’s not always the case— thick spears can be just as tender.

Storage and prep

Keep asparagus in the fridge with a damp paper towel wrapped around the ends to preserve moisture. Cook within two days to enjoy maximum freshness, first rinsing spears, then trimming or snapping off the woody ends.

How to cook it
Asparagus cooks very quickly and continues cooking after it comes off the heat. Ensure your cooked spears are tender-crisp, rather than limp, by removing them from the heat while they’re still a bit firm.
Steam in a double boiler for 3 to 5 minutes.
Grill, turning once, for 5 to 8 minutes.
Boil in a saucepan of salted water for 2 to 4 minutes.
Roast on a baking sheet: Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with lemon zest, salt and pepper, then roast in a 425°F (220°C) oven, tossing once, for about 12 minutes.

Or don’t cook it!
Raw asparagus is great in salads—check out our easy recipe for Asparagus Salad with Canadian Ricotta Fritters.

Ready to cook? Try one of our 10 asparagus recipes for pasta, salad and soup
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Cooking School

How to buy, store and cook asparagus

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