asparagus, look for bright green spears with tightly closed,
compact tips. Size doesn’t indicate a woody texture or
diminished flavor. Thick spears are as tender as thin ones;
tenderness relates to color, meaning the greener the better.
Asparagus: Trim away the tough end of the spear, if
desired. Store in the refrigerator with the spears covered,
standing upright in about 1 inch water. Or wrap the ends with
a wet paper towel and cover with plastic wrap or store in a
sealed plastic bag. Stored properly, asparagus will keep 4 to
6 days in the refrigerator.
for Cooking: Trim away the tough ends, or hold the
asparagus stalk by the ends and bend it; it will snap at the
point where it becomes tough. If you like, use a swivel-type
peeler to peel off tough outer skin. Asparagus holds up well
to various coo. Here are a few cooking methods adapted from
the California Asparagus Commission.
Brush or toss spears with oil to coat them evenly. Grill over
medium until browned and still crisp-tender.
Place 1 pound of spears in a microwave-safe dish with ¼
cup water. Cover with plastic wrap but vent one corner.
Microwave on high 3 to 6 minutes; remove and let stand 3
minutes before serving.
Boil: Bring 1 to 1 ½ inches of water to a boil in a large
skillet. Salt the water slightly when it comes to a boil; that
will help retains the bright green color. Add the asparagus,
bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 2 to 5
minutes until tender.
Place whole spears on a steamer rack in a large saucepan over
boiling water. Cover and steam about 5 minutes until the
spears are bright green and crisp-tender.
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