Asparagus is the king vegetable, even if it is not classically prepared on the table. There is another way, for example marinated or fried.
The asparagus season in Germany starts in mid-April and ends on June 24th (St. John). Some supermarkets offer it all year round, but often it is about imported asparagus and is easily left behind due to its taste and aroma. The asparagus should be as fresh as possible. You can recognize high-quality asparagus by the pressed heads.
The royal vegetables also want to be treated like royalty if they are to become a culinary delight on the plate. Learn everything you need to know about asparagus below.
Types of asparagus
In general, three types of asparagus are recognized, which differ only in the way they are grown.
- White asparagus, which is grown with a covered foil, has the finest taste.
- The green asparagus grows in the light and has a typical green color thanks to the rays of the sun that form the chlorophyll.
- The third type is purple asparagus with a strong, spicy and slightly bitter taste.
The consumption of asparagus has a positive influence on the organism.
- It contains large amounts of fiber and vitamins B, C, E, K, carotenes, folic acid and other useful substances such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and iodine.
- It is suitable as a diet food, improves metabolism or e.g. B. lowers cholesterol levels.
- Then it has a positive influence on the functioning of the kidneys, reduces the formation of varicose veins, supports fertility and acts as an aphrodisiac.
Processing and use of asparagus
Just like other vegetables, asparagus is best fresh. Process it asap. If the green asparagus is young and fresh, there is no need to peel it. You can just wash it under liquid water and break off the woody end. When rhizomes are fresh, break just where the woody part ends and the soft, brittle part begins, suitable for eating.
The easiest and best way to prepare the asparagus is to blanch it. Cook cleaned sprouts for about 3 minutes in salted water, which can be seasoned with white wine and butter. You can also join the rhizomes in the bundle and prepare them in the higher pot. The water only has to reach just below your head – they boil in the steam. As soon as the asparagus is cooked, we cool it in the bowl with cold water and ice. The asparagus keeps its beautiful green color. Asparagus processed in this way is an ideal ingredient for B. in light vegetable salads. Do not pour out the blanching water, it is ideal for making asparagus soup.
White asparagus requires more thorough preparation in the kitchen, including peeling. You have to peel the white asparagus along almost the entire length of the rootstock. Start about 2 – 3 cm from the summit and continue from the head down. It shouldn’t leave a peel on it, it’s fibrous and hard. Care must be taken when peeling, white asparagus is very fragile and easy to break. Cut off the ends of white asparagus, approx. 3 cm from the end is sufficient. When cooking, we recommend adding a little lemon and sugar to the water. The white asparagus is cooked longer than the green asparagus and the rhizomes should be cooked whole.
Purple-green asparagus has medium-sized sprouts and an expressive aroma. The sprouts do not have to be peeled completely, it is usually sufficient to peel the bottom part.
Asparagus cooked in this way can be consumed immediately or in main dishes (e.g. risottos). It is also excellent as a component of crispy salt cakes – quiche. They are very easy to prepare and you can customize them to your taste. There are many ways to prepare it with the pasta. Try Asparagus tagliatelle with dried tomatoes.
When you eat asparagus, you don’t stand beside yourself. Enjoy it in the asparagus season, it is fresh, brittle and has the right taste.
Asparagus Tips you should know
1. How do you recognize fresh asparagus?
The lighter the cut, the fresher the asparagus. And this is how you can test the freshness:
- The asparagus should still be moist at the interfaces and have a delicate smell.
- Hollow, discolored cuts indicate that the asparagus is no longer fresh.
- In addition, the tips of the asparagus should be tightly closed and the stalks should be without cracks.
- Sometimes the asparagus is even slightly pink. But that doesn’t mean that the asparagus is bad, it has just drilled itself through to the sunlight and has been discolored. This gives it a slightly more intense taste, which some asparagus fans even prefer.
2. How does the soil affect the quality of asparagus?
Asparagus is not just asparagus. A white pole from sandy soil is a little softer, maybe even more delicate. The pole has to fight its way out of loamy soil, which means it may be stronger and stronger. So the nature of the soil has an impact on the asparagus. And the asparagus especially likes warm, sunny weather. The rest is a matter of taste.
3. Thick, thin or broken asparagus – which asparagus quality should you buy?
You don’t always have to catch the thickest poles. Some prefer the slightly thinner asparagus, even if they make a little more work when peeling. Depending on the planned asparagus dish, it is enough to buy the cheaper asparagus curd. The evenly thick sticks are ideal for a fine asparagus meal. Advantage: With the same thickness, they are cooked at the same time.
4. How to cook asparagus properly
When cooking, pay attention to the size of the pot and the amount of water: you should use around ten grams of salt per liter, according to SWR1 chef Andreas Stüber. It is important that the water has to boil first and then the asparagus is soaked in plenty of water. If the asparagus is still a bit bitter at the beginning of the season, you can add a little sugar depending on the bitter tone. Lemon juice gives the asparagus liveliness and freshness.
5. How Germany prepare asparagus
Braised asparagus : The asparagus can also be prepared in the oven. Green and white asparagus are suitable for this. Simply place in a dish with a little water for the steam and fresh herbs and put in the oven.
Prepare green asparagus : There are a few details to consider when it comes to green asparagus: You do not have to peel small asparagus at all. Here it is enough to cut off the ends. If the sticks are bigger and longer, they only have to be peeled halfway through. In the case of imported asparagus, e.g. from Peru or southern Spain, you should peel the lower ends. Fresh green asparagus from Germany, which is tender and narrow, does not have to be peeled at all.
Asparagus cream soup : With white asparagus, you can keep the broth in which the asparagus was cooked. Put the asparagus peels into the broth again and cook them for a quarter of an hour. Then take the peels out and make a delicious asparagus cream soup out of the stock.
6. How do you know if the asparagus is ready?
If you can cut the asparagus with a knife and it doesn’t bend, the asparagus is done. If the asparagus bends, the asparagus has been cooked too long.
7. Keep asparagus
Wrapped in a damp cloth, asparagus can be stored in the vegetable drawer for a good three days. You can even freeze it. But you should peel the asparagus beforehand.