Cleaning asparagus requires a slightly different approach from other vegetables. Here are the things you need to do before you begin cooking asparagus.
The Cleaning Process
Firstly, you do not need to immerse asparagus in water. A lot of vegetables require you to wash them first. That is not the case with our asparagus. Hold the stalks beneath running water. Rub them together, but do not do this too roughly. To clean the tips, you should turn the spears upside down.
Cutting the Spears
The thin spears can be eaten. However, it is necessary to cut a small portion of the ends. Thicker spears are a little different. While cleaning asparagus of this type, the spears need to be sliced at the hard sections.
Find the section by grabbing one cut end. Hold the middle spear with your other hand. Snap it until it breaks. Throw the cut end away. While the spears are edible, some people like to take them out entirely.
It is totally up to the recipe you are making. Some require the spears to be there, while others do not need them. Peeling is not done usually.
Knowing which types of asparagus to buy is important. If possible, go for the medium sized ones and below. Asparagus comes in green and sometimes purple. Before cleaning asparagus, get the ones that are a bright green.
For freshness and juiciness, check the bottom part. Avoid those that have ridges at the stem area. Steer clear of wet and soft asparagus. The spears should also be straight up. Size wise the spears ought to be roughly the same.
Put the asparagus in a glass. It needs to be standing up with a tiny amount of water. Better yet, wrap the asparagus in paper towels. Put it in a plastic bag and seal it. This will allow you to keep the asparagus for a couple of days.
Tips and Warnings
If you do not want to break the spears when cleaning asparagus, you can use a knife. Make the cut at the point where the white and green colors meet. Make sure to cut out the fibrous parts. To remove the skin, you can use a vegetable peeler.
Slice about ¾ of the way down. Leave the tip intact. Just press your fingers a little into it and you will feel it has softened.
If the spears are thin, peeling probably won’t be necessary. The woodiness by the way, is caused by age. The vegetable has reached the point when the sugars have turned into starch.
Try to avoid overcooking asparagus. This will cause the vegetable to become too mushy and very unpalatable. If you have fresh asparagus, wash with cold water.
Make sure all bugs are removed. Next, boil it in water with salt and butter for a few minutes. The water can be used as tea. You can also use the microwave to prepare the vegetable.
Cleaning asparagus properly is part of the secret to cooking it right. By using the techniques suggested, you will have it cleaned properly and it will be prepared the right way for your cooking.