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Asparagus is a labor-intensive vegetable crop. Nearly all of the U.S. commercial asparagus production takes place in only three states: California, Washington and Michigan. You can buy them the entire year round but they taste best during harvest season which is primarily from January to June. Below you can read everything about my favorite vegetable and I will give you some of my best recipes.
White asparagus are white because they have been grown in asparagus beds buried under the ground, hence in the dark.
White asparagus tastes softer and finer than green.
White asparagus may not be pink or blue tinted, and the head must be solid and undamaged. The lower part of the stem may not be stiff, concave or dry.
Peel white asparagus from the head down with a peeler and break off the hard tip. You have to put them in cold water immediately.
Green asparagus shoots are from the same plant, but they are grown above ground. Under the influence of light they turn green.
You hardly need to peel green asparagus. Just cut the woody bottom and peel, if necessary, the lower part of the asparagus.
The green asparagus taste stronger, a little sweeter, while the white has a more refined, nutty flavor. In terms of nutritional value, they are similar, all containing the green asparagus vitamins and minerals. Green asparagus are green to light green and may not be fleshy.
How do you know if asparagus are fresh?
Rub two sticks together. If they make a squeaky or beeping sound, then they are fresh.
Dried or brown tips tell you that your asparagus is not fresh. The top should feel firm, the bottom of the stem is stiff and does not give as you squeeze it. The stalks of asparagus are not fleshy but do maintain a fresh tenderness.
How to keep asparagus?
Keep them for as short a period as possible. You can store them 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, preferably wrapped in a damp cloth. Frozen you can keep them up to 9 months: first blanching and freezing after cooling, preferably with the cooking liquid.
Ingredients for your Asparagus with Salmon
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 pad of butter, melted
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 pinch white pepper
2 salmon filets
1/4 cup walnut halves
½ lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
Preparation of your Asparagus with Salmon
Put the cornstarch, butter and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and stir until smooth. Add honey, mustard and pepper and stir again.
Lay each salmon on a double layer of aluminum foil. Drip the honey dressing over the filets and sprinkle them with walnuts. Lay the asparagus in around the salmon. Fold the foil tightly around the fish and close it.
Roast the fish 15-20 minutes on a medium hot grill until the fish flakes.
For this recipe you need your barbecue on a high heat
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Brush the asparagus lightly with olive oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2-3 minutes over a hot fire to be cooked or until desired doneness.
Ingredients for your white Asparagus
¼ cup fresh thyme sprigs
½ cup olive oil
1 lb white asparagus peeled
4 mild red peppers
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
Preparation of your white Asparagus
Heat up the barbecue to a medium heat .
Align the shallots without peeling on the grill and grill for 10 minutes. Turn them frequently.
Keep 4 thyme sprigs separate to garnish and take the leaves of the others. Chop them finely and stir half of them through 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Cut the asparagus lengthwise and lubricate them with the thyme oil . Also brush the mild red peppers with the oil and put them together with the asparagus on the barbecue . Roast the asparagus and peppers 5-7 minutes while turning frequently. The vegetables are ready when they are soft and have nice grill marks.
Peal the shallots, after you have let them cool down a bit, and mash the pulp together with the remaining olive oil , remaining thyme , the lemon zest and lemon juice into a thick dressing. Season the shallot dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the grilled asparagus and peppers on a beautiful plate and poor the shallot dressing over it . Garnish with the reserved sprigs of thyme .