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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Asparagus Tips: Through Thick and Thin

Asparagus is one of our favorite harbingers of spring. These delectable stalks with their vivid color and delicate flavor are good hot or cold, dressed up or down.

Asparagus comes in several sizes, ranging in diameter from thinner than a drinking straw to fatter than your thumb.

Thin, tender spears can be sautéed, steamed, or rubbed lightly with olive oil and grilled.

Fatter asparagus spears will need to be trimmed and either steamed or boiled in order to be tender.

While some people prefer the smaller spears for their delicacy and tenderness, others like thick asparagus for its more robust flavor and meaty texture.
How to Buy and Store Asparagus

Whatever size you chose, look for firm, brightly colored stalks with tightly closed tips.Asparagus begins to lose its sweetness as soon as it's picked, so try to cook it as soon as possible after you buy it.

If you do plan to store it in your refrigerator for a few days after you get it home, treat it like a bouquet of flowers: trim a small amount from the bottoms of the stalks with a sharp knife and place them in a tall glass with a little water in the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. This will keep the stalks firm and crisp until you are ready to cook them.


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