Mike van de Elzen: Asparagus time

Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 1 October 2017, 10:23AM

Asparagus brings so much happiness to any kitchen, not only is it the start of Spring it also brings so many great culinary dishes with it.

So today we are having an education class on the do's and don'ts of this wonderful slender green!

  • First up, store your asparagus in the fridge, standing up with a damp cloth around the bottoms, much like flower
  • First season or new season asparagus is tender, so no need to peel. As asparagus gets older and later in the season the stalks get woody so this is when chefs tend to peel them before cooking
  • Snap the bottoms off don't cut. The snap will happen at the perfect location at the bottom of the stalk
  • Always blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 10 seconds before plunging into iced water. This does three things, it locks in the vibrant green colour for long periods of time, the salted water gets in and adds flavour to the asparagus, it guarantees you tender asparagus, no matter how you cook it later, well maybe not every way!

So what are the best things you can do with your asparagus ?

  • Blanch and rub with oil then BBQ, serve with a grapefruit vinaigrette and grilled Haloumi cheese
  • Cut your blanched asparagus up and toss into your green salad or favourite pasta dish at the last second
  • Go fancy and serve with a ducks egg yolk ravioli and parmesan
  • Go simple and serve straight after blanching with a touch of butter, flaky sea salt and a good crack of pepper

Any way is good when you eat this wonderful sweet tender green !

 

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