Serious Eats: Talk
Please! Don't Hate your Asparagus
While this 'Talk' comment is mostly rhetorical, I'll include some direct suggestions at the end.
Heavens yes! This is Asparagus Season. No matter how angry or frustrated you may be this week, please don't express your feelings toward your Asparagus. Those wonderful stalks (green, purple or even white) just won't understand. As long as your Asparagus is reasonably fresh, it does not really matter how large it is: some prefer the tiny,m pencil thin stalks, suggestive of a very young root, while others swear by the thumb-thick stalks of a more mature root. Please just be kind to your Asparagus and don't waste any. All too often, I still see folks doing the 'Natural Snap" thing. Nuts and wasteful. Here are some points that I follow:
1) Obviously, buy the freshest that you can get. If the top buds, leaves waiting to happen, look tired and dry, it is either old or has been poorly handled.
2) At home, wash it gently, CUT (not snap) a tiny portion, perhaps 1/8" and stand in clean water, with a gentle top covering. If not to be used the same day, change the water daily, just as you should with cut flowers. (Some folks add a pinch of sugar, but mine never stays around long enough to try this.)
3) Again, skip the "snap" routine. It is wasteful and you'll discard far more than is necessary. When ready to cook, CUT another tiny portion from the bottom end before any cutting for service.
4) If you are fortunate enough to have mature Asparagus, finger and thumb-sized stalks, PLEASE don't waste that bottom 60% of the stalk. A far better idea is to address it with your potato peeler, much as you would to peel a carrot. Yes, the first layer of the bottom 60% can include a lot of annoying fiber. Peel it off, just like a carrot. -- To be continued --