How to cook asparagus

25 Apr 2011

Category: recipes

Asparagus can be cooked in many different ways.  Here are some top tips for making the most of this seasonal treat.

Boiling

It is best to boil asparagus in a bunch, so it can be removed from the water at the same time, to avoid over cooking.  Tie the asparagus into evenly sized bundles of 10-12 spears, or use an asparagus basket (from cook shops).  Submerge in a large pan of boiling water for 3-6 minutes until tender.  The cooking time will vary depending upon the thickness of the spears.

Steaming

Like boiling, this is best done in bunches.  Stand the bundles of spears upright in 3 inches of boiling water and cover with a lid.  Steam for 3-6 minutes.

Roasting

Toss the spears in a little olive oil and salt and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes.  Roast asparagus is a great companion to a summer roast chicken.

Barbecuing

Toss the spears in a little olive oil and place on the BBQ away from the hottest part of the coals.  Remove before they char - the timing will depend on how hot the BBQ is.

Stir Frying

Use thinner spears for stir frying or sauteing.  Toss in a hot pan with a little sunflower oil or a knob of butter for 3-6 minutes.  If stir frying for an Asian-style dish, add a dash of fish sauce (nam pla) instead of salt.

Lots more recipe ideas and top tips for asparagus at www.british-asparagus.co.uk

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