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Asparagus Serving Suggestions

Asparagus and lemon1

Asparagus and lemon

Asparagus has an intense rich flavor that is nearly impossible to describe. It is a universally favored vegetable that has been coming to the table for thousands of years. It is said that Julius Caesar simply like to eat asparagus with melted butter.

Here are some suggestions for how you can serve asparagus:

• Thinly slice raw asparagus and serve in salads.

• Serve fresh asparagus with a little melted butter and lemon juice. • Serve fresh or briefly blanched spears with a dip.

• Blanch or parboil for a platter of crudités (fresh vegetables) and dips. Trim the asparagus spears and place them in boiling water for 15 seconds for small spears, 30 second for large spears, transfer to paper towel, dry and let cool.

• Toss cooked asparagus with browned butter or extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

• Dress steamed asparagus with vinaigrette.

• Serve asparagus with chive mayonnaise, mustard butter, a caper butter sauce, or the more elaborate—but not difficult to prepare–Hollandaise sauce.

• Sprinkle cooked asparagus with Romano or Parmesan cheese and put it under the broiler until heated.

• Serve asparagus on toast with Italian prosciutto and cream sauce.

• Stir fry cut asparagus spears until just tender.

• Roast seasoned asparagus in a hot oven; spread spears on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Roast at 425ºF about 2 minutes, then shake the pan, turn over the spears and roast until tender, 2 or 3 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper or other seasoning.

• Grill asparagus: preheat the grill and grilling screen and spray grate and screen with oil; toss the spears in olive oil and place on the grilling screen perpendicular to the grate; grill 20 to 40 seconds per side over a medium-hot fire; they will soften within 20 seconds from removing them from the grill; season.

• Chop and use leftover asparagus in omelets, soups or stir-fried; add them at the last minute so that they just warm.

• Overcooked asparagus can be puréed and used for soups or sauces; purée can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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Asparagus in kitchen3

How to Prepare, Cook, and Serve Asparagus

Hollandaise sauce1

Hollandaise Sauce