VegBox Recipes

Asparagus (Green)

Asparagus (Green) Asparagus is considered a delicacy and its arrival heralds the start of spring - definitely something to be looked forward to.

When lightly steamed, its flavour is simply delicious. The motto with using asparagus is "less is more" - don't worry about fancy recipes, enjoy it as it is.

My all time favourite way of eating asparagus is asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. After all, it's not in season for long!

Store?
Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Cook?
Choose asparagus that is still firm, rather than bendy. When you break a stem, it should "crack" easily.

Avoid wilting stalks or those with signs of flowers, as these are getting old.

More Asparagus (Green) Information

Asparagus (Green)Asparagus comes in either green or white. Yet these aren't different varieties - the white asparagus are prevented from reaching sunlight during growth, either by covering them in earth or growing them in huge, dark sheds.

White asparagus is commonly used in Germany to make a delicious, thick, creamy soup.

Green asparagus is traditionally eaten as a side vegetable or as an ingredient with pasta.

It takes 3 years for asparagus plants to yield the spears we know and love. Fortunately, after that wait, a plant will produce a harvest every year for up to 20 years.

The Asparagus Season
The asparagus season in the UK runs roughly April to June, depending on the grower. Its arrival is one of the earliest signs of summer.

Bear in mind when you buy asparagus that up to half of its length is removed when you prepare it for cooking. Always get more than you think you'll need.

Out of season, it can be imported from as far afield as Peru and then air-freighted to the UK, so if food miles concern you, it's always worth checking the country of origin.


Asparagus is considered to be a good medicinal vegetable, being a good source of folic acid and also a natural diuretic.

It has been cultivated for over 2000 years and originates from the Mediterranean regions.



What To Do With Asparagus (Green)

Don't overcook asparagus, unless you want to turn it into soup. Over-cooked asparagus also tends to be more bitter.

The delicious delicate flavour is best when it's just lightly cooked and still has texture.


Hold the asparagus stick with one hand at each end. Bend it until it snaps - usually 1 to 2 inches from the cut end. This removes the woody section, which is often too fibrous to eat with the tender spears and takes longer to cook, resulting in unevenly cooked asparagus.

The "woody bit" makes a great ingredient in stock.
Wash well, to remove any grit from the top and then steam for 5-8 minutes.

The traditional method for cooking asparagus is to tie it in a bunch, rest the cut ends in an inch of water and steam the bunch in a tall pan (or an asparagus steamer). This means the delicate spears cook at the same rate as the thicker stalks.


Quick ideas:
Prepare and steam and then serve with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.

Or...

Steam and add to a fresh spring asparagus salad.

Little Known Asparagus (Green) Facts

Did you know...?
The asparagus is a member of the lily family.


Did you know...?
Don't want to mention this over dinner, but some people find that eating asparagus makes their urine smell funny. Don't worry - this is completely normal. Honest!

Quick Asparagus & Parmesan Treat

This asparagus & parmesan recipe is quick, easy and delicious. The simple ingredients complement each other to make a great asparagus starter or even a light lunch.

Or you can simply serve it as a side dish.

It works best with fresh, in-season asparagus, as this is most tender and has a great flavour.

Out of the UK season, most asparagus is flown in from abroad, so check the country of origin, if air miles are an issue for you.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • About 25 spears of asparagus (less if the spears are large
  • Knob of butter
  • 50g fresh parmesan cheese

Method
  1. Wash the asparagus spears thoroughly, to make sure any grit has been removed from the flower head at the top.

  2. Hold the spear with one end in each hand. Bend the spear gently until it breaks. This removes the woody end. (Can be used in stocks or soups).

    Note: this is useful to do on later-season, thicker spears, but probably not necessary on early-season thin spears.

  3. Steam the asparagus or boil it in a covered pan with 1 inch of water for about 5 minutes, until tender, but not soggy.

  4. Drain well. Then add the butter to the warm pan and return the asparagus to the pan, to coat lightly with the butter.

  5. Arrange the asparagus spears on plates and top with parmesan shavings. Use a potato peeler or a sharp knife to make the shavings.

    The heat from the asparagus should start to melt the parmesan a little.

Serve immediately.

Cupboard-To-Table

10 minutes

Suggested Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus & Broad Bean Salad

Asparagus and broad bean salad works best with early-season broad beans, so you don't have to remove the skins of the beans. The addition of a poached egg turns these simple springtime ingredients into a delicious meal.

Asparagus & Hollandaise Sauce

This is perhaps one of the most indulgent ways of enjoying asparagus. But as the season doesn't come round very often, a little of something naughty every now and then is probably ok?!?

Asparagus, Tofu and Sesame Seeds, with Paprika

Light, delicious and healthy!

This easy to make dish of grilled asparagus, tofu and sesame seeds is perfect as a starter, side dish or a healthy snack pot to take to work.

Cheesy Asparagus Flan

This asparagus flan recipe is delicious hot or cold and makes a great centre piece for a picnic.

Cream Of Asparagus Soup

Cream of asparagus soup is a great way to use up any woody ends of asparagus spears or any late season asparagus that's a bit too tough to use in side dishes or salads.

It works well with green or white asparagus, so use whatever you can get hold of.

Lemon Asparagus

The asparagus and lemon in this dish provide a great boost to the immune system. And the delicious flavours are a great way to welcome spring and take a sneak peak at summer!

Quick Asparagus & Parmesan Treat

This asparagus & parmesan recipe is quick, easy and delicious. The simple ingredients complement each other to make a great asparagus starter or even a light lunch.

Or you can simply serve it as a side dish.

It works best with fresh, in-season asparagus, as this is most tender and has a great flavour.

Out of the UK season, most asparagus is flown in from abroad, so check the country of origin, if air miles are an issue for you.

Roasted Asparagus

Deliciously simple. Topped with a simple dressing and slivers of Parmesan, this makes a great side dish.

Spring Pasta

Cooking spring / early summer vegetables lightly and serving them with pasta is a delicious way to enjoy the first signs of summer. This recipe is quick and easy and only uses one pan always a bonus...

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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