Friday, 30 May 2014

Asparagus - 5 ways of cooking

As Asparagus are in season at the moment (and are delicious) - 
here's a few different ways of preparing them:

1. Grilled:
1 bunch of Asparagus:
Trim the ends (peel if necessary) : heat your grill pan and lightly brush the asparagus with oil : grill for about 4 - 5 mins. until nicely charred - turning them.

2. Microwave:
Place about one pound of asparagus in a microwave-safe dish with 1/4 cup water : Cover and cook on high for 5-7 minutes. (check manufacturer's instructions for timing.)

3. Steaming:
Using a steamer basket above boiling water, or a saucepan containing about 1/2 cup boiling water : add asparagus and cover pan : cook until all pieces are tender, about 6 to 10 minutes

4. Roasting:
Line the asparagus spears side-by-side in a shallow baking dish.
Drizzle olive oil lightly over, adding ground pepper and some salt.
Roast at 180 deg.C (350 deg.F) for 10 - 12 mins. - depending on the thickness of the stalks.
Midway through roasting, shake the pan to roll the asparagus a half-turn.
Remove from the oven when the tips begin to go brown, and cool for a minute or two before serving.

5. Boiling:
Bring a pan of water to the boil, drop the asparagus in with a couple of bayleaves, and boil gently until tender - (to taste.) Depending on the size they could take approx. 4-5 mins or a bit longer - sorry cant be exact. 
Either test with a skewer or just cut a bit off and tast it!  Drain - serve hot or cold.

Simply served hot, + melted butter with crushed garlic added is delicious.
If serving cold, a good mayonaise is also great, and triangles of crustless brown bread and butter!

Storing them:
Wet a paper towel and wrap around bottom of the stalks.
Place in a plastic bag and put them in the coldest part of the fridge - (preferably the  crisper.)
Store for not more than 2 - 4 days.

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