Thursday, March 22, 2012

In Season: The First Stalks of Asparagus YES!

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. It's tasty, nutritious and easy to prepare.Although it makes a gorgeous salad for your Easter feast when topped with a lemon vinaigrette, every day cooking is a snap.

Steam or roast. Add lemon juice. Voila'.

Asparagus is a cool-weather crop in season from February to June. It's at its fresh best now.

LATimes Test Kitchen gives you the skinny of how to pick, prepare and cook fresh asparagus.
When shopping for asparagus, look for firm stalks with tight heads and good coloring (white asparagus is grown out of sunlight to keep the stalks from coloring). As for thick or thin stalks, it's really only up to you and what you prefer -- they're both fine.

To prepare asparagus for cooking, trim the woody base (2 to 3 inches) at the end of the stalk (some people prefer snapping the stalks -- I don't do this because the break often occurs too high on the stalk and you lose some good with the bad). Peel thicker stalks to remove the heavy skin; thin stalks are tender enough and do not need to be peeled.
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