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Asparagus Cooking Tips

  • One cooking method is to stand the asparagus in three inches of boiling water, cover and cook for 8 minutes or until the tips are tender. Steam only the youngest, most tender asparagus.
  • To blanch, fill a large pot half full of water, add one tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and partially cover until a second boil quickly begins, then uncover and cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove to a towel to dry.
  • To freeze, blanch by plunging into boiling water for 3-4 minutes and remove immediately to chilled water. Drain. Pack in containers, label and freeze for up to nine months.
  • Serve asparagus warm or at room temperature. Refrigeration dulls the flavor.
  • Do not over cook asparagus.
  • Asparagus retains heat, terrific for stir-fry and saute.
  • Figure a half pound of asparagus per person. There are 15 to 20 medium-size stalks in a pound. One pound of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch lengths, will measure about three cups.


    Asparagus Parmesan

    1 bunch asparagus spears
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    Preheat oven to 450 deg. Clean asparagus by trimming of lower 2 inches or so of tough stem and peel remainder of stalk to within 2 inches of tip. In a frying pan where asparagus can lie flat, combine water, lemon juice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Add asparagus and poach for 3 minutes. Drain asparagus and then submerge in ice water to stop blanching process. Place drained asparagus in prepared baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and more black pepper if desired. Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over top and place in oven. Roast until cheese melts, about 5-7 minutes.

    Crusty Asparagus Casserole

    1 (#2) can asparagus, chopped
    1 1/8 c. cheese cracker crumbs
    1 c. grated American cheese
    2 pimentos, chopped
    3 eggs, beaten
    2 c. milk
    1 tsp. salt
    Dash of pepper
    3/4 stick butter, melted

    Combine asparagus, cracker crumbs, cheese and pimentos; pour into 9x12 inch baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour over asparagus mixture. Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes. Serves: 12.

    Pan-Fried Asparagus

    1/4 cup butter
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon coarse salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

    Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook garlic in butter for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus, and cook for 10 minutes, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking.

    Pasta Salad with Asparagus

    Yield: 10 cups (2.4L), Servings: 6

    This cold pasta salad features asparagus and a delicious garlic-dijon dressing. It’s a wonderful dish for brunches, picnics or hot summer nights.

    2 pounds (910g) asparagus spears, sliced diagonally into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
    12 ounces (340g) angel hair pasta, or other pasta, uncooked
    1/2 cup (90g) shallots, minced
    1/4 cup (60mL) olive oil
    1/4 cup (55g) Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup (10g) fresh parsley, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tsp (2g) thyme
    1/2 tsp (3g) salt
    1/4 tsp (1g) black pepper, freshly ground

    Directions: Place asparagus in microwave-safe container with small amount of water. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Drain. Asparagus should be tender but still bright green.

    Cook pasta in rapidly boiling water until done. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, mix together shallots, olive oil, Dijon mustard, parsley, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

    In a large bowl, combine shallot mixture with pasta and asparagus; mix well. Serve chilled.

    Nutrition Facts: Calories: 329, Total Fat: 11g, Calories from fat: 28%, Protein: 10g, Carbohydrate: 50g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 312mg

    Deep Fried Asparagus - 4 servings

    1/2 cup cornstarch
    3/4 cup flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon celery salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 egg whites
    2/3 cup cold flat beer
    3 pounds (2 cups) raw, whole asparagus, cleaned and cut above white end

    Instructions: Mix all ingredients except asparagus in a bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Dip asparagus individually in the batter and deep fry them in at least 2-inches of peanut oil for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

    From: Asparagus All Ways...Always by Stockton Asparagus Festival (Celestial Arts Publishing)

    Crab and Asparagus Salad - 6 servings

    18 fresh asparagus spears (3/4 pound)
    1/4 cup nonfat mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 teaspoon chopped capers
    1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
    1/2 teaspoon white wine Worcestershire sauce
    12 large lettuce leaves
    3/4 pound fresh crabmeat, drained and flaked
    l/8 teaspoon paprika

    Instructions: Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Remove scales from stalks with a vegetable peeler or knife, if desired. Arrange asparagus in a vegetable steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 8 minutes or until crisp tender. Plunge asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and chill. Combine mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients. Arrange lettuce leaves on individual serving plates; top with equal amounts of asparagus and crab. Serve each salad with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture, and sprinkle with paprika.

    From: Ginny Munsterman, Published in: Southern Living 1992 Annual Recipes (Oxmoor House) - out of print Shared by: Peggy, Home Cooking Guide

    Roasted Asparagus - 2 servings

    1 bunch asparagus
    1/2 red peppers
    1/2 yellow peppers
    1/2 green peppers
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    3 tablespoons oil
    salt & pepper

    30 minutes, 15 mins prep

    Instructions: 1.Mix the oil and garlic together and set aside to blend for 10 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile: Holding the asparagus in both hands, bend and they will snap off where they become tough.
    3. Trim bottoms to even off.
    4. Remove scales at the bottom.
    5. Cut peppers in long slices.
    6. Put asparagus in a zip-lock plastic bag and add the oil/garlic mix.
    7. Toss to coat evenly.
    8. Place asparagus on foil-lined baking sheet and roast in 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the asparagus) till crisp-tender.
    9. Remove from oven and add the peppers and toss to coat.
    10. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes till peppers become crisp-tender.

    Stir-Fried Asparagus

    1 pound slender asparagus, trimmed
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1 tablespoon cold water
    2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
    1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and half of the green
    l/2 cup chicken broth
    1 tablespoon light soy sauce

    Instructions: Cut the asparagus into 1-1/2-inch lengths. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into a smooth paste. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet or wok and, when very hot, add the asparagus and scallions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes.

    Make a well in the center of the asparagus and add the cornstarch mixture and the soy sauce. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or more, until sauce is smooth and thickened. Serve immediately. Try this on shredded lettuce leaves as a first course or as part of a Chinese meal.

    Yield: 4 servings as part of a Chinese meal, 3 as a first course.

    Recipe from: The Classic Vegetable Cookbook by Ruth Spear (Harper & Row)


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