Food of the Kings: The season of asparagus is open – how to choose it and cook it deliciously

The asparagus season usually lasts from April to June in European countries. This delicious vegetable is full of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial substances. Contains vitamins K, E, A, C, group B, folic acid, selenium, copper, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron. Regular consumption of asparagus helps cleanse the body of toxins, normalize blood formation processes and improve the function of the heart and blood vessels. And it has only 16 calories per 100 grams.

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Interesting facts about asparagus

  • Asparagus was first cultivated in Greece 2500 years ago. And the name itself also comes from Greece and means “executive”, “flight”.
  • In ancient Rome, asparagus was also very popular and revered as a delicacy. The recipe for asparagus is found in the oldest cookbook in the world – De re coquinaria by the Roman gourmet Apicius.
  • In addition to Julius Caesar, Louis XIV and Thomas Jefferson confessed their love for asparagus. Writer Leon Tolstoy, they say, used it literally in pounds.
  • The origin of the asparagus is unknown. Contrary to the theory that asparagus comes from the Mediterranean region, there is a hypothesis that it comes from Northern Europe.
  • The asparagus family is very close to the lily family. Thus, asparagus is a close relative of onions, garlic and leeks.
  • The most common types of asparagus are green, white and purple. White asparagus grows without access to light and therefore no chlorophyll is produced in its cells.
  • The delicate taste of asparagus goes well with eggs, bacon, shrimp, chicken, rabbit, beef, it serves as a base for pizza or pasta.

Asparagus is not only delicious and healthy, but also a very appetizing dish. To prepare a culinary masterpiece from it, you need minimal time and ingredients. You just have to know some of the subtle nuances and tricks of cooking asparagus.

How to choose asparagus?

Food of the Kings: The season of asparagus is open - how to choose it and cook it deliciously
Photo: Shutterstock


  • First of all, you need to look carefully at the asparagus. Pay attention to the tips: they must be tightly closed and do not germinate. Feel the stems to make sure they are firm and dense, not soft and withered. The stems should not be ribbed or flat. Ideally, they will be rounded.
  • Fresh asparagus has no smell. In addition, its stalks are thinner and it is much easier to cook.
  • As for the color, choose bright green asparagus. This is one of the signs of quality.

How to properly prepare asparagus?

Food of the Kings: The season of asparagus is open - how to choose it and cook it deliciously
Photo: Shutterstock


According to professional chefs, in French cuisine, anything that can be peeled will be peeled off. The same goes for asparagus. This is not necessary at all and depends on your personal taste preferences, but there are 2 reasons why it is better to peel the asparagus.

First, its skin is difficult to chew. And secondly, asparagus can be cooked unevenly. The stalks need more time to cook, but during this period the asparagus can be turned into pulp. The edges, by the way, are also better cut with a sharp knife.

We advise you to cook the asparagus as soon as possible. There is a great risk of overdoing it and the dish will spoil. The ideal asparagus should be cheerful green and crunchy. But overcooked asparagus will become very soft, withered and not very appetizing.

Cooking secrets with asparagus

  • How to cook asparagus

Boil water (you can add a little salt) in a large saucepan, add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remember, the faster you cook the asparagus, the better. The time basically depends only on the thickness of the stems. Then drain the water, put the asparagus on a plate, add spices as desired or lemon juice and serve.
Great! Do not add sour liquids when cooking asparagus (vinegar, wine, lemon juice, sauces). Its color and taste may not change for the better. Add these ingredients before serving – and it will be delicious. This applies to any method of cooking asparagus.

  • How to cook asparagus

You can take asparagus with you in nature. On the grill, it turns out very tasty, fragrant, with smoke. Its preparation will take you only 5 minutes. Simply heat the grill over medium to high heat, drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and cook.

  • How to cook asparagus in a pan

You can also cook asparagus in a pan. It’s not the healthiest way to cook, but it’s no less delicious. Heat the butter or vegetable oil in a thick pan. Spread the whole asparagus stalks or cut them diagonally into medium pieces. Fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with lemon juice or grated cheese before serving.

  • How to cook asparagus

If you bought asparagus with a thick stem, cook them. Grease a pan or pan with a little oil, spread the asparagus in an even layer at some distance from each other. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper as desired. Send them in a preheated oven at 220 degrees for 10 minutes.

Baked asparagus in lemon dressing

Food of the Kings: The season of asparagus is open - how to choose it and cook it deliciously
Photo: Shutterstock


Components

  • Asparagus – 350 g
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons. large.

Refueling

  • Dijon mustard – 0.5 tsp
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp. large.

Cooking

The perfect but simple accompaniment with asparagus is full of lively flavors and ready in a few minutes. The fresh stalks are baked in the oven until golden brown and drizzled with a dressing of Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice. Serve the asparagus as an accompaniment or as a light snack – hot or cold – it is delicious in any form.

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