Asparagus

Asparagus season is relatively short. Lasts approximately from mid-April till late June. Asparagus used to be very favourite and widely used veg in Czech cuisine and nowadays it celebrates its comeback to our kitchens.

It is very easily digestible vegetable delicacy. It has excellent detoxifying effects – supports the activity of liver and kidneys, helps curing bladder diseases.

White asparagus has milder taste, green is richer in vitamin C. If you try asparagus for the first time, you should know, its consumption affects the smell of urine, which is absolutely harmless.

Asparagus was known in ancient Egypt. Greek physician Galen was writting about the health benefits of asparagus. After the fall of the Roman Empire it were the French monasteries who took care of the comeback of asparagus. King Louis XIV. elevated asparagus up to be the royal vegetable.

Growth

While in green asparagus photosynthesis takes place freely, white asparagus is growing covered with soil and extra covered with black foil above, so it won´t get green. The foil has another function – black color helps to warm up the soil. If the wheather is very hot, the foil is turned on an opposite side, where tho colour is white. If sunlight finds the way to white asparagus after all, the tips may become pink or purple. This discoloration is not harmful to the veg, some asparagus lovers even search for this ones.

Freshness

Fresh asparagus spears are nice and firm. When you try to bend it, it will snap. Old asparagus is limp or floppy. Shouldn´t be wrinkled.

Storage

Asparagus is intended for immediate consumption. Ideally eat it on the day of delivery or within one day. If you need to store it for a couple of days, wrap it in a damp cloth (wring it out properly) and put in the fridge, 5 ° C. If the asparagus becomes little wilted soak it in cold water for a few minutes. We don´t recommend freezing the asparagus.

Basic preparation

Green asparagus: Remove woody ends. Don´t cut the ends of green asparagus, but snap them off. Take the end of asparagus and its last third and bend. It will snap just in the place where the woody part ends and juicy one starts. Tie spears into a bundle and place upright into salted boiling water so that the water is below the heads. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then shock – put immediatelly in a bowl of cold water with ice. This stops the boil proces and asparagus retains crunchy and has fresh green color.

Don´t worry to combine green asparagus with tang flavors like garlic or chilli. Have it with steak. Asparagus-strawberry desserts are very in.

White asparagus: Cut the woody ends, approx. 3cm from the end. Peel this asparagus thoroughly, you´ll get rid of fibers that would bother you while eating. Find a trick how to peel it here. White asparagus is to be cooked whole. Add salt, few drops of lemon, teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of sugar into the water – that eliminates any bitterness that the white spears might have. Cook for about 6 minutes.

Delicate taste of white asparagus befits a simple accompaniment. Pour butter or hollandaise sauce over it and serve with new potatoes. Try it in combination with fish. The classic meal is creamy soup of white asparagus.

 

Find inspiration in our recipes:

White asparagus creamy soup

Pasta with asparagus and cream sauce

Spring salad with asparagus, radish and egg

Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce – you can find it in your Freshcalendar

Spelt cake with strawberries and asparagus

 

Every year there are festivals dedicated to asparagus in Ivančice or Hostín. Many restaurants offer menus with asparagus from top to bottom on this occasion. Whether you head to the festival or choose to enjoy this delicacy in a restaurant, be sure to get the inspiration for your home asparagus cooking. Smile