While it’s too early to get asparagus in your garden in zone 4 – it is popping up at the grocery store, making its way here from California. I love asparagus and artichokes and feel like they are the precursors of Spring cooking.
Grocery store asparagus can be thin and delicate with frilled ends or thick fat spears with tightly held tops. Either thickness is suitable for eating as long as they are fresh. If you are going to store asparagus in your refrigerator after coming home from the market, store them spear side up in a glass with two inches in the bottom, and a plastic bag draped loosely over them to preserve them for up to 5-7 days. If the water gets cloudy after a few days, just rinse and repeat.
Preparing Asparagus spears for cooking is very easy. Snap the tough ends off or if you prefer a more even presentation, cut two inches off the ends of the stalks. You can roast your asparagus in the oven, air-fried, grill it, or cut it into pieces and saute. I like to use the tough ends in my stock bag, or if I have enough of them, I will boil them with chicken stock and whiz them up in my Vitamix with some chives and add a splash of cream for fresh Asparagus soup. Garnish with chive oil and or drizzle with plain yogurt thinned with lemon juice. Finish with fresh cracked black pepper and kosher salt.
Here are a few of my favorite asparagus recipes, including an asparagus pesto tart, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and asparagus dressed with a sauce Gribiche