How to serve asparagusOctober 2, 2023
Typically signalling the start of the spring season, asparagus delivers a unique taste of the British countryside that’s both nutty and smooth. Complementing a range of dishes such as fish, beef and salads, asparagus can be prepared and served in a myriad of ways. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the vegetable, from tasty asparagus recipes to the best way to cook and prepare it.
What is asparagus?
Asparagus is a popular vegetable that is mostly used in cooking, but can also be used in flower arrangements. With over 300 genus species, the most common form is the garden asparagus, which you’ll find regularly used in a range of recipes. Asparagus has a delicate and grass-like flavour that complements an endless list of meats, fish and sauces, hence why it’s a popular addition to meals throughout the UK and beyond.
How to prepare asparagus
Prior to cooking asparagus, there are certain steps you can take to prepare the vegetable:
- Always make sure to wash asparagus and snap the woody ends off of the vegetable.
- Remove the outer layer of the asparagus stems with a vegetable peeler, unveiling the tender and tastier core.
- Once you have prepared your asparagus stems appropriately, it’s a good idea to cook them as soon as possible so they remain fresh and don’t begin to brown. If you have to store asparagus for later, a good tip is to cover it with a damp cloth.
How to cook asparagus
Asparagus is a vegetable that offers many cooking possibilities. The cooking method you choose, whether it’s boiling, roasting, or grilling, will directly influence the final flavor of your asparagus.
The cooking method you choose, be it boiling, roasting, or grilling, will determine the flavour of your asparagus. For example, if you steam asparagus it will make it juicy and succulent, whereas broiling the stems can add a smokey flavour. It’s worth considering the overall flavour of your dish and using that to determine the way to cook your asparagus. Find below guides for the most popular ways to cook and serve asparagus:
How to boil asparagus
Boiled asparagus is a great side for meat dishes like steak or lamb. To boil asparagus, follow these steps:
- Begin by filling a pot with water and adding a pinch of salt. Bring this water to the boil and carefully add your asparagus stems.
- Allow the stems to boil for up to three minutes, or until they appear bright green.
- If you are not going to serve your asparagus straight away, plunge the stems into an ice bath to cease the cooking process and keep the vegetable tender.
How to roast asparagus
Roasting is also an excellent way to cook asparagus, when you want a little more crispiness and a smokey flavour. To roast your asparagus, follow these steps:
- Coat the stems with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C, and space the asparagus across a baking sheet.
- Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes, remembering to shake them halfway through the cooking process.
- Remove from the oven when the tips of the spears are brown and roasted.
Recipe development manager, Mimi Morley, says, “Asparagus takes just minutes to roast until it’s deliciously tender and crispy. It’s one of the easiest vegetables to roast as it just takes a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to be cooked to perfection.”
What to serve with asparagus
Though commonly served as the side dish, asparagus can easily be made the star of any meal. Try deep-frying your asparagus and serving the stems with a tasty dip. For weekend brunch, broil your asparagus stems wrapped in streaky bacon. Accompany asparagus with soft-boiled eggs and use the stems to dip into the yolk. You can even include asparagus in your next baking adventure. Cut up some of your asparagus tips and include them in bread dough to create a delicious asparagus loaf.
At HelloFresh, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding your favourite asparagus dishes. No matter if you are a quick midweek cook or feeling creative in the kitchen, HelloFresh has you covered. It couldn’t be simpler, visit the HelloFresh website to browse through the delicious selection of recipes. Pick your favourites and have a HelloFresh box delivered straight to your door within a matter of days, containing every ingredient you need and straightforward instructions for a tasty meal.
Recipes with asparagus
Celebrate the season with some delicious, fresh asparagus recipes. With a natural and earthy flavour, this vegetable is the perfect addition to a range of dishes:
- Pesto Crusted Lamb Steak and Roast Potatoes
- Goat’s Cheese, Onion and Walnut Filo Parcel
- Salmon and Asparagus Spears with New Potatoes and Chive Butter Sauce
- British Summer Salad with Asparagus, Chives and Fennel
- Presto Bacon and Mushroom Linguine