Asparagus is an excellent vegetable that is extremely high in folic acid, vitamin C and fiber. But when eaten raw it can be pretty fibrous and stringy making it very difficult to stomach. But thankfully, cooking asparagus is fairly easy. The key is to not overcook it though because it can happen relatively quickly and turn to inedible mush. Sauteing asparagus is one of the best methods for cooking and preparing.
Choosing the Best Ingredient
Asparagus is only in season for about a month of the year. This is when it is the best it can be, usually around the fall when it is harvested. But you can still get it year-round in the grocery store. When choosing asparagus, try to get the stalks that are skinny and slimmer rather than the thicker and fatter ones. They are easier to cook and taste much better.
Preparing the Ingredients
If you want to cook the asparagus faster than usual, you can blanch it for a couple minutes in hot water then cook it but this is not necessary. You will want to cut off the bottom parts of the stalks, they are too chewy and don’t eat nicely. So, leave about 10-12 inches of stalk exposed to cook. You can cut them even less if you want, just make sure none of the white stalks are being used.
During the Cooking Process
Asparagus will cook fairly fast so you will need to keep moving the pan back and forth or use a wooden spoon to move the asparagus stalks around in the pan so they will cook evenly. If you are worried about them getting too charred or burning, you can add a little bit of liquid like chicken stock or water to the pan to help steam them a little while cooking them.
The Final Touches
Once the asparagus is finished cooking, place them in a shallow bowl on directly on the plate. Not much else is needed to do to them at this point. You can add a fresh squeeze of lemon or some parmesan cheese to elevate the natural flavors if you want. Asparagus also pairs nicely with a seared steak and crispy potatoes. You can also toss cook asparagus is a salad or pasta dish as well.
- Cut the bottoms of the asparagus off so only the green stalk is exposed. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil.
- Place the asparagus in the pan and season with a little salt, pepper and minced garlic. Sauté the asparagus over medium high heat for a few minutes while continuously shaking the pan and moving the stalks around with a wooden spoon.
- Cook the asparagus to your liking or until the stalks are soft and tender. Remove the asparagus from the pan and transfer to a plate or serving dish.
Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!