Asparagus makes a popular side dish; although it is surprising how many home cooks shun this vegetable because they are unsure exactly how to cook it.
Actually asparagus is very simple to prepare. You just need to chop an inch off the end and then boil, steam, bake, or pan-fry it until you can slip a knife through easily. There is nothing more to learn than that. Toss the cooked asparagus with melted butter or olive oil, salt and black pepper, and serve it hot alongside your meat, poultry, or seafood.
Asparagus has a lovely fresh flavor and it is also versatile. You can add it to stir-fries, curries, stews, soups and more. If you are looking for new asparagus ideas, then what about making an asparagus gratin, quiche or kabobs? The worst thing you can do to asparagus is overcook it, because then it goes mushy, but it is easy to check (with a knife or fork) when it is crisp-tender, and then you know your asparagus is ready to serve.
Creamy Asparagus Gratin
Grate some cheese and sprinkle it over the asparagus spears along with some breadcrumbs, then bake it in the oven until the cheese is melted and the asparagus is tender. You can add herbs to this recipe or even some chopped bacon or ham. There are many similar recipes on our site as our old dedicated site has been merged into the main company site here at RPN for you to try out.
Using Asparagus in Soup
Something else you can do with asparagus is make a delicious soup. If you usually make split pea soup recipes or another family favorite to go with your Easter meal, then what about making asparagus soup instead? This delicate and delicious soup is healthy as well as flavorful, and another bonus is how easy it is to make. You can find a nice selection of soups featuring asparagus at our soup site: http://www.amazingsouprecipes.com/category/soup-recipes/vegetable-soup-soup-recipes/asparagus-soup/
You can throw some asparagus into your favorite vegetable soup recipe, or even slice it on the diagonal and add it to an Asian soup. Let it cook in the soup for five minutes or until it is crisp-tender. Perhaps one of these ideas has inspired you.
Asparagus the Misunderstood Vegetable
There are a few vegetables we are all familiar with by sight but also very misunderstood as what the heck to do with them as such we tend to shy away from them as a side dish because we have notions of them being this strange and mysterious thing you must need to either be a professional chef to know what to do with or a kitchen magician. One is artichoke wow that even looks strange let alone having any idea what to do with it.
The other is asparagus. It is kind of like some kind of weird twig or paint brush and then wait it comes in two colors what’s up with that? What’s the difference am I serving the wrong one to the right people and making myself look like some kind of kitchen fool. So for these simple reasons people tend to just not serve them and it is a shame they are both fairly easy to prepare and even easier to impress with minus any kitchen witchcraft or wizardry.
As for color it is a personal preference although in some country only the white one should be served as the green is thought to be inferior which is plain nonsense but cultural differences are what they are. Here in America you are safe with either and in fact white might even be hard to find unless you know a farmer who grows the stuff. So I hope we have opened a few eyes to this very misunderstood vegetable and you give it a try.
Originally Published in Our Issue #16 April 5, 2012 Newsletter
Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 04-02-16
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