February 10, 2010
Asparagus. Something I really didn't like very much as a kid but eventually began to like them. Now before you try to adjust your screen, the asparagus you see above is white asparagus. White asparagus??? What's the difference between that and the normal green variety? The white variety is not quite as strong (flavor-wise/ more delicate for lack of better words) as the green. It is deprived of any light so changing to green will not happen (botanist I'm not so you can do an engine search for that).
If you have someone who doesn't like the more traditional asparagus, try these and see how they react. The same rules apply when you buy any variety- fresh smell (if any), consistent color of the asparagus, not wrinkled, and free of any mold (at the bottom in particular) or discoloration on the bottom.
So how did I cook these? It's pretty simple.
1. I cut off the lower inch from the bottom since that's the hardest part to cook.
2. One think I read about was to shave the skin off of the lower 2/3 of the stalks. The instructions from a package I bought gave specific instructions to do so. I did it and have done so ever since.
3. Get a pan big enough where the asparagus can fit properly and be fully covered with water. Bring to a boil. I placed some extra virgin olive oil in the pan for some extra flavor. Add some salt for taste.
4. Boil for 10 minutes and then drain the water after cooking. They should be fork tender when finished cooking. I drain the water, especially if they will sit for a short period. This will prevent them from being too soggy.
5. If they do sit for a short period (say 5-10 minutes), I would suggest that you use a pan than can retain some heat. That way, you don't worry about overcooking (simmering them longer than needed; the risk is over soaking or burning them).
6. The only thing I add to them as far as seasoning is salt, pepper, and olive oil- then end!!! Asparagus really doesn't need any more seasoning but if I were to do anything else, garlic and/or ginger would be the only things I would consider. The spices I mentioned above are meant only to complement the asparagus, not overtake the flavor of it.
7. Plate and eat!!!! Take you meat of choice, potato dish, pasta salad (or mac and cheese) or rice would be a perfect complement together. Enjoy.