Varieties: Asparagus comes in three colors: green, white, and purple. Most common is the long green kind. The white asparagus are grown totally underground and the purple grow with just their tips an inch or two above the earth. The flavor is about the same for all types, but the purple and white variety are sometimes less sweet and less stringy than the green.
How to pick: Look for bunches with firm stalks and tightly closed lids. The stem should be uniformly green from top to bottom and asparagus with large white ends should be avoided. Fresh asparagus has no odor at the tips — old asparagus has a strong and unpleasant odor. Store in the fridge with the stem ends wrapped in a moist paper towel for up to 3 days. To trim, cut off or snap ends.
Loaded with: Antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, potassium; high in fiber and low in calories.
How to prepare: Below are some quick, easy ideas for serving asparagus tonight!
- Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and lightly grill, broil or roast — then sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Create an asparagus stir fry with green and red peppers
- Whip up an asparagus omelet with spring onions
- Blanch and serve as an appetizer with yogurt dip or hummus
- Steam and coat with your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing
- Blanch and wrap in smoked salmon or prosciutto
- Peel asparagus into ribbons and serve over spaghetti with shaved Parmesan
What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh asparagus?