How to cook asparagus

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asparagus in a strainer
Asparagus is a delicious addition to any meal
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You probably know that asparagus is good for you, but did you know that it loses flavor, color, and nutrients when overcooked?

If you've had trouble cooking asparagus so that it comes out perfect each time, then read on and you'll learn the best ways how to cook asparagus.
  • Soak the asparagus in cold water for several minutes. Swish it to remove dirt and grit.
  • Bend each stalk gently until the tough, woody end snaps off or cut the ends off with a sharp knife.
  • Discard the ends or set aside.
  • If the asparagus is particularly tough or old, remove the skin from the stalk with a vegetable peeler.

To boil, tie the asparagus in bundles (this makes them easy to remove all at once) and immerse in boiling, salted water. Blanch for about 10 minutes, or just until tender. Remove bundles immediately, remove strings, and keep warm.

If using an asparagus cooker or tall pot, tie and stand the asparagus upright with the spears above water, then cover and cook just until the stalks are tender but still firm.

To microwave, arrange the spears in a round baking dish with the tips toward the center. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on HIGH (100% power) for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender, rotating the dish a half turn after about 4 minutes.

  • If using asparagus in a cold dish, plunge into cold water immediately after cooking.
  • Freeze the discarded stems for future use. They can be cooked and pureed for sauces and soups, or used to flavor stock.
  • Avoid cooking asparagus in an iron pot. Asparagus contains tannins which react on contact with iron, altering the vegetable's color.
Here are a few simple recipes to get you started. Once you learn how to cook asparagus, you'll want to try even more ways to add this tasty vegetable to your menu.

Asparagus with tomato cream sauce: 2 pounds fresh asparagus spears 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup half and half 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Cook asparagus, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Arrange asparagus spears in serving dish and keep warm.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Gradually stir in chicken broth and half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (about 1 minute). Whisk in mustard, lemon juice, and pepper. Spoon sauce over asparagus. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Asparagus with almond butter sauce: 2 pounds fresh asparagus 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds 1/4 cup butter 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender; drain well. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add almonds and cook until golden brown, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and salt. Pour sauce over hot cooked asparagus. This recipe also serves six to eight.

As you can tell, it's really quite simple to learn how to cook asparagus in different ways. To continue along the summer trend, a healthy and delicious summer salad is a vegetable side dish that is pleasing to the eye and taste buds. You can even add asparagus to the mix and get all of

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