5 of the Best Asparagus Recipes for Frugal Home Cooks

Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus is a simple yet delightful treat that is pleasing to many palettes. Picky kids will even eat it! It’s super easy and quick to make, and there are many asparagus recipes to try out.

Not only that, but it’s also an affordable vegetable option that is in its peak season, starting near the end of February until June. However, don’t worry if you’re reading this outside of the peak season because you can get asparagus any time of year.

Ways to Prepare

There are five main ways to prepare asparagus, and each is super simple. You can easily prepare it to go with any meals you’re having because it is so versatile. One thing to note is that no matter how you cook it, asparagus cooks up very fast. You can have it ready in minutes.

Roasting

Roasted asparagus is tender with charred pieces. This cooking method is perfect for a busy mom or dad who doesn’t have time to watch over it while cooking. You just pop it in the oven and let it cook.

Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Set with Grips, Nonstick Cookie...

Buy on Amazon

Roasting can allow you to get a bit of crispness on your asparagus. Make sure to use a proper roasting pan that will allow for good air circulation.

Sauteing

Sauteing is probably the fastest method of cooking. You just toss it in a pan with some oil and give it a few tosses. It’ll be ready in a snap.

A stir fry pan is ideal for sauteing asparagus because it allows you to toss the stalks around for more even cooking. Since it cooks so quickly, you don’t want to let it just sit in a pan, or it may burn or overcook on one side.

Blanching

To blanch, you boil the asparagus. It is one of the healthiest ways to cook the veggie because it doesn’t require any oil. It also preserves the bright green color and produces a very hardy and robust result.

After blanching, you must give the asparagus an ice bath. To do this, you put water and ice cubes in a bowl and toss the asparagus in the water after you remove it from blanching. This stops the cooking process and prevents mushy results.

304 Stainless Steel Foldable Steam Rinse Strain Fry Basket Strainer...

Buy on Amazon

To make blanching easier, you could use a blanching basket. These baskets sit down in the boiling water and have handles that let you lift the basket right out. You can then set it directly in the ice bath with minimal hassle.

Grilling

In nice weather, you can easily toss some asparagus on the grill with your steaks. Don’t add it until the end, though, because it’ll only take a few minutes. Grilling can give the asparagus a nice charred taste.

Weber Style 6435 Professional-Grade Grill Pan

Buy on Amazon

One tricky thing about grilling asparagus is that it is shaped perfectly to fall right through the grill grate. To avoid this, you can cook it in a foil packet or use a veggie grill tray.

Steaming

Steaming is another healthy way to make asparagus. Food Network explains it is very similar to blanching in that you will need to use an ice bath after steaming the veggies.

To steam asparagus, you can buy many special cookers that will steam, or the easier option is to buy a steamer basket. It fits on a pot and will allow the veggies to steam without touching the water.

Asparagus Tips

If you have never cooked asparagus before, you will need a few tips before you head into getting asparagus recipes. You want to be sure you prepare it properly and avoid doing things that could make it not taste its best.

Trimming the stalks

The first tip is that you must always trim asparagus before cooking it. The veggie has a thick, tough, woody end to it. You’ll find this at the bottom of the stalk, and it will usually look white. You want to remove it.

You can do this a few ways. The first is to snap it off.  You can snap off the ends to all the stalks, or you can snap one stalk and then line it up with the others and cut the remaining stalks with a knife.

Another option is to take off the woody part with a vegetable peeler. Some people prefer this because it produces less waste, but there is always the concern that you won’t get all of the woody parts off. The woody part is incredibly tough and will ruin a cooked stalk’s overall texture if you bite into it.

Peeling the stalks

You do not have to peel asparagus most of the time. However, if you have white asparagus, you must peel it completely. Thicker or fatter stalks also do best when you peel them. Just make sure you never peel the tips.

Pairing flavors

Asparagus recipes will often include lemon zest or juice because it pairs so well with the veggie. Butter is another pairing you will often see in asparagus recipes. This vegetable also goes well with garlic, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar. Another common pairing is parmesan cheese, but we do encourage you to try different pairings to see what you like the best.

Eating raw

You can most certainly eat most asparagus raw. Green or purple is great shaved into stripes when raw. One exception is white asparagus. But fair warning, some people do not like it raw, so you may want to taste test first.

5 Simple Yet Devine Recipes

Now that you know quite a bit more about this lovely vegetable, you are ready to dive into some asparagus recipes. There are so many ways to prepare asparagus, but we chose five simple asparagus recipes because this veggie doesn’t need to be cooked fancy to taste amazing.

The best way to introduce it to your family is to focus on cooking it properly and seasoning it lightly to bring out the true flavor. With that in mind, we present to you a recipe for each cooking method.

Robust roasted asparagus

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim and clean the asparagus stalks. Toss the trimmed stalks with olive oil, walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the stalks on a roasting pan evenly. Do not crowd them on the pan, or they won’t cook properly.

Roast them for 10 to 12 minutes, keeping an eye on them to ensure they don’t overcook. Drizzle them with balsamic vinegar before serving.

Stir-fried asparagus

  • 6 ounces asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Heat your stir fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic to the hot pan. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in trimmed asparagus stalks and toss, cooking for about three minutes.

Quick and easy blanched asparagus

  • 1 pound trimmed asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil and add in the asparagus. Let it cook for about two to four minutes. Remove from the pot and put in an ice bath immediately.

Once slightly cooled, toss the asparagus with olive oil, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled asparagus foil packets

  • 1 pound trimmed asparagus
  • 8 pats of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges
  • Foil

For beginners, a foil packet is simply a square of aluminum foil you use to encase your food for cooking. You want to seal it on the sides and top so the mini oven you create can cook the food from all sides.

To start the recipe, heat your grill to medium-high. You’ll need four squares of foil. Divide the asparagus between the squares. Top each bundle of stalks with two pats of butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with ¼ teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, and evening divide the parsley between each packet.

Fold the packets and grill them for about 15 minutes. You want to turn them occasionally for even cooking. Remove from the grill and slightly squeeze a lemon wedge over each bundle.

Steamed garlic asparagus

  • ½ pound trimmed asparagus
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Juice of half a lime

Pour water into a skillet and add in asparagus. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to boil. Let it steam for about two to three minutes. Remove the lid and let any remaining water cook off. Then, remove from the heat and squeeze the lime half over it. Toss in the garlic salt, and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you try your hand at making one of our simple asparagus recipes, you may find yourself with a few questions. Here are some things people often ask once they begin making asparagus a part of their regular diet.

How do I know asparagus is done?

Asparagus cooks fast. It usually will not require a long time to cook, no matter which method you use. The result should always be a tender stalk that has some crunch to it. The color should also be bright.

If you overcook it, you will notice it lacks flavor and turns to mush. A good rule of thumb is that you should remove asparagus from cooking about a minute before you think it will be done. If you think you are close to overcooking, toss the asparagus in an ice bath to halt further cooking.

How long should I cook asparagus?

Times can vary based on the recipe and method of preparation. Once you get familiar with cooking, it will be much easier to tell when it is done. You will soon find you can easily see when it is time to take the asparagus off the heat. In the meantime, stick to the timing in the asparagus recipes you use. Always go with the lowest time in a range first. You can always put it back on the heat if it isn’t completely done yet.

How do I choose asparagus?

The best asparagus is fresh and from a local source. You want it to be bright in color without any signs of dryness, especially on the bottom. Look for compact and closed tips as well. The stalks should be flexible, and there should be no brown ends.

How do I store asparagus?

If you buy it fresh, you should wrap it in a damp paper towel, put that inside a plastic bag and store it in your crisper drawer in the refrigerator. You can keep it this way for three days. You can also put it in a container, as you would with flowers, and keep it in the fridge that way.

If you want to freeze it, you should blanch it first. This locks in the color and freshness. Plus, you can freeze it for up to a year.

Wrapping Up Your Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus is amazing to add to your regular rotation. It makes an excellent side dish for various main courses. Not only that but you can also enjoy it any time of the year if you would like.

While we kept the asparagus recipes simple, you can move onto more complex ones as you learn more about cooking and serving asparagus. It is one of those veggies you can dress up if you’d like or add it to an everyday meal.

Last update on 2021-06-14 at 04:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Speak Your Mind

*

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This