One cup of asparagus is not only a good source of dietary fibre and protein, but is a very good source iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and many of the B-vitamins (especially Thiamin and Riboflavin).
When & Where Can I Buy It?
This Spring vegetable is synonymous with the beginning of the growing season! Try to buy locally, and look for asparagus coming up in May and June in Ontario. For my friends down in the United States, asparagus season is generally April to mid-June, but may be earlier or later depending on where you live.
Asparagus can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores or at farmer’s markets. Or like my childhood self — forage the country ditches for the plant. Check out this nifty map by the USDA to see where wild asparagus grows in the U.S.
When buying asparagus, choose asparagus spears that are straight, crisp, and closed green or purple tips. It should also have a fresh scent vs. a musty scent. I try to look for asparagus bunches that have similar width so the spears cook for the same amount of time as well.
How Should I Store & Prepare It?
Once purchased, store asparagus in the refrigerator. The spears should be standing up in water — this will prevent them from wilting. That being said, it’s best when consumed within the first few days after purchase.
Before seasoning and cooking the asparagus, make sure to rinse the spears under cold water to remove any remaining dirt. Then remove the woody parts of the spears. This can best be done by holding the spears and snapping off the woody ends one at a time.
After it’s been cleaned, the asparagus spears are ready to be steamed, roasted, grilled, or cooked whatever way you like! Below is my go-to recipe for simple roasted asparagus!
Total Time: <30 minutes
1 bunch of asparagus
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rinse and remove woody portion of asparagus spears, and place in bowl.
- Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other desired seasoning.
- Place asparagus spears in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until desired tenderness. Don’t forget to rotate the spears half way through!
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Tuscan Roasted Asparagus