Some time ago, I was writing about how to harvest asparagus. Since not all of that can be used at the same time, I have decided to share a piece of my experience with you and to show you what to do after harvesting. Therefore, here’s how to store asparagus which will retain its freshness and taste.
Get ready, clear out your kitchen, since we are going to spend some time there. Still, you shouldn’t be worried, since these procedures are rather easy. Two of them are even similar.
Although this is an obvious first step, I have to point it out, since there are people who don’t grow vegetables, but are buying them at local stores. Therefore, you will have to buy this spear-shaped vegetable (of course you do!), so that you have to work with something.
Now, there is only one rule to follow while shopping. You have to choose the best possible asparagus. These will be recognized by color and overall condition. The best asparagus looks green, healthy and fresh, without dry, brown or woody parts. If you notice some of those, don’t buy it. After all, you are choosing; you have the right to deny buying.
The First Step – Removing Extra Parts
If you ever bought asparagus, you probably noticed that it comes tied up with a rubber band or similar. Don’t remove it, since it will make things easier. On the other hand, if you took asparagus from your garden, tie up a dozen or so stalks together.
Use a sharp knife, the one usually used for chopping vegetables such as onions and carrots. It should have broad and thicker blade since asparagus is one tough vegetable which is sometimes hard to cut. Place the bundle of vegetables on the chopping board, and cut off about half an inch of the lower part.
This part tends to get dry, so removing it is essential. Of course, if you just brought asparagus straight from the garden, skip this step.
The first step is the same for all of the procedures, and after this point, it is up to you to decide for how long the asparagus will be stored. I’ll start with the shortest one, and continue with those which can save vegetables longer.
Short Period – A Jar And Plastic Bag Method
As the name suggests, you will need a glass jar and one plastic bag. Take the jar and pour about an inch of water. Ordinary, tap water will do just fine, so feel free to use it. Now, take the bundle of asparagus, and put it into the jar with spears pointing up. This way, it will keep soaking up the water, and remain fresh.
The plastic bag is there to save your asparagus taste like onions. Since this vegetable can and will absorb other smells from the refrigerator, cover the spears and part of the jar with a plastic bag. Use the rubber band to keep the bag in place and secured.
Like this, you can save asparagus for about a week. Of course, you will have to change the water once in every few days, since it will get murky.
Short Period – Time For Cooking
This way will help you to save taste and texture of your asparagus, and there are several ways to do so. Steaming is quite a healthy way to preserve vegetables, and asparagus is not an exception. Also, blanching or sautéing asparagus can also be done.
However, all of these methods won’t save vegetables in a more extended run. After treating them in one of those ways, put asparagus in an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator. You can expect that they will last about six or seven days at most, but I can advise you to use it before that.
Long Period – Freezing
Well, now I just need a ziplock bag, fill it with cut asparagus and throw it into the freezer, right? Wrong.
Although this seems like a logical procedure, you have to treat the vegetable first so that it won’t lose its flavor. Start with preparing two bowls. Fill one with water, and put it on the stove, and fill the other one with water mixed with ice cubes.
Once the water starts to bubble, and before it boils, throw in asparagus you cut into about 1” pieces. In case that spears are thick as a pencil, boil it just for 30 seconds. If they are thicker, minute or two is enough. Now, remove them from hot water as fast as possible, and put them into cold water (the one with ice cubes).
This procedure is necessary because even when removed from the hot water, the temperature within spears remains high, so asparagus loses its taste. Quick cooling prevents this from happening. Next, take the pieces out of the water, and spread them on a frying pan or kitchen cloth to dry.
If your freezer has a “quick-freeze” option, use it when bags of asparagus are put inside. If not, pack them and leave about 15 minutes inside a freezer, or until ice crystals start to appear. Repack them into a different bag, and by doing so, you have prevented a lump of asparagus to appear.
After defrosting, you don’t need to wait; they can be thrown into cooking pot straight away. This way of preserving is the longest, so up to a year is the timeframe of usage of such packed vegetables.
So, I hope that I have managed to answer the question about how to store asparagus, and as you can see, those procedures are not such a difficult thing to do. You will need only preparation time, and of course, beautiful, green and healthy-looking asparagus.
As always, feel free to leave me a comment, question or opinion in the comment section below.