It's not for nothing that asparagus is called a delicacy in sticks or even edible ivory - asparagus is indeed something very special. Learn more about the royal vegetables and how to properly prepare asparagus.
Whether green, white or purple; Asparagus is super healthy! (Photo by: © BeTa-Artworks / fotolia.com)
The Egyptians valued asparagus 5000 years ago and the Greek doctor Hippocrates also knew about its medicinal effects. The Romans started growing asparagus in 234 BC, but it wasn't until the 16th century that the asparagus finally came to all of Europe. The first acreage only came a century later.
Today, asparagus is one of the most popular and sought-after vegetables worldwide. Asparagus is also extremely healthy and contains important vitamins as well as calcium and potassium .
Info: Eating asparagus is a pleasure without remorse, because 100 g asparagus have just 20 calories.
In Austria there are three main types:
- White asparagus - the aroma is particularly mild and delicate.
- Purple asparagus - has a fine, somewhat stronger and spicy aroma.
- Green asparagus - has a hearty, spicy and powerful aroma. The bars are also thinner and only the lower third has to be peeled.
In addition, the asparagus is also sorted according to commercial classes and also according to diameter, color and quality.
Info: The asparagus season is normally from mid-April to June 24th (= asparagus New Year).
Buy and store asparagus
You can recognize fresh asparagus by the juicy cut surfaces, firm heads and by its aromatic smell (should have a pleasant and not sour smell). The bars should not be flexible and if you lightly press the end of the cut together, juice should come out.
Unpeeled asparagus should be removed from the packaging and wrapped in a damp cloth. So it stays in the vegetable compartment for 3-4 days.
Peeled asparagus should be wrapped in cling film. So you can keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Tip: Do not store the asparagus in water, because this way it stays crunchy, but gives off its taste to the water.
Cooking asparagus properly - nothing can go wrong
- To free the fresh asparagus from sand residues, it must be washed under running water and should then drain well.
- Asparagus is always peeled from top to bottom, i.e. from the head to the end of the cut . It is important that it is peeled evenly and not too thin and the head end (= asparagus head) is left out.
- The skin of the green asparagus is thinner and therefore does not have to be peeled.
- After peeling, the woody cut end (approx. 1-3 cm) is cut off (also with green asparagus).
- In order to better portion the asparagus, it makes sense to bundle it with kitchen thread before cooking. Bundles of approx. 500 g are always ideal.
- Asparagus can be cooked lying in a normal pot, but also standing upright in a special asparagus saucepan . With an asparagus saucepan, it is sufficient if the water only reaches half of the asparagus spears, the upper part of the asparagus spears is steamed.
- When the water boils, add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of butter, a teaspoon of sugar (softens bitter substances) and a dash of lemon juice (for the color) to the water and reduce the heat.
- The cooking time of asparagus depends on the one hand on the personal taste and on the other hand on the diameter of the sticks. 10-20 minutes are ideal for white asparagus and 8-15 minutes for the thinner green asparagus .
Tip: To check whether the asparagus is ready, you can also do a test . Use a knife to prick the lower, thick end of the asparagus spear. If it is already soft there with a slight resistance, the asparagus is ready.
Ham and asparagus
Asparagus is a healthy spring vegetable and is often served with ham. (Photo by: © thommy1973 / fotolia.com)
Asparagus has a very fine, but emphatic taste . To really enjoy it, the side dishes should not taste too intense. Garlic combined with asparagus would be impossible.
The perfect accompaniment to asparagus is ham, for example . Eating ham with asparagus has a long tradition. After slaughtering in winter, the ham was ready for consumption in spring and at the same time the asparagus also ripened.
To sum up, a cooked ham always goes a little better with asparagus than a smoked ham, but that's a matter of taste.
Fine fish such as salmon also tastes great with asparagus.
A few asparagus recipe recommendations
- Green asparagus with vinaigrette
- Asparagus wrapped in ham
- Asparagus Cream Soup
- Baked asparagus packets
- Asparagus omelet
- gratinated asparagus
- Asparagus risotto
- more asparagus recipes
Which wine for asparagus?
Asparagus should best be enjoyed with a good glass of wine, because the wine enhances the special aroma of asparagus.
- If the asparagus is only eaten with melted butter, then a Sauvignon Blanc or a young Chardonnay are ideal.
- If a hollandaise sauce is served with asparagus, Pinot Blanc is perfect.