in season : asparagus

Peeling and Trimming Fat Spears: A vegetable peeler is just the tool. Lay a spear on a flat surface. Hold the tip of the stalk and, starting an inch or so below the tip, peel the thin skin from the spear. There’s often more edible spear below the breaking point, so we peel fat spears first to see where they begin to look dried out, then trim off the end with a knife.

Steaming Fat Spears: A tall, narrow asparagus pot fitted with a basket is a nice tool for steaming the spears. Add about 1½” of water to the pot (make sure the basket sits above the water). Bring to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, using kitchen twine, tie peeled, trimmed asparagus into a loose bundle and lower it into the basket. Put the basket into the pot, cover, and steam until spears are tender, 4-5 minutes. Remove the basket and transfer asparagus to a clean kitchen towel. Cover and keep warm.

Alternatively, lay stalks in a steamer or colander and place it in or over a pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam until tender.

Boiling Fat Spears: Fill a deep skillet with water, season generously with kosher salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add peeled, trimmed asparagus to the skillet and boil until tender, 4-5 minutes. Carefully lift the spears from the water with tongs or a slotted fish spatula and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

How to Buy: Whether you’re buying thick, thin, or medium asparagus, choose firm, bright-green stalks with tight tips and moist ends. The best season for fresh asparagus is February through June.

{recipe and image via Bon Appetite; feature image via Muffin Tin Mania, a blog where everything is made in a muffin tin}

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Categories: In Season

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One Comment on “in season : asparagus”

  1. April 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Delicious. I love seeing seasonal food about the place. I’ve done an asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli post. Have you tried PSB? It’s very nice!

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