Asparagus….worth taking a second look

The African-American life is filled with traditions that helped shape my love for food.  Our culture is one that should be celebrated more often.  I’ve always found inspiration in the many wonderful meals around the table.  Much of what we’ve learned to eat over the years has caused many health issues.  I was thinking about ways to make that food we love so much, healthier.

In my family there was one vegetable that almost never made it to the table, Asparagus.  I’m sure some of you have experienced this in your home.  Well, I think asparagus has gotten a bad rap.  I recently enjoyed some at a friend’s home and was amazed how wonderful they tastes, when cooked right.  *clears throat*

My friend put them on the grill and added some olive oil and kosher salt, she then wrapped them in veggie bacon, which to me just added to the wonderful flavor.  It occurred to me that the bitter taste I often have when I eat asparagus, was gone.  I had to ask her what she did.  She shared with me some of her sure-fire ways to enjoy them.

I will be cooking some this week and sharing with you what I discover.  One tip she gave me is when buying them make sure they are fresh.  How? I asked.

1. Always look for the dark green almost purple tips

2. While the diameter of the stalks doesn’t matter when it comes to taste, you want to choose asparagus that is all the same size so that they all have the same cooking time. If not, some will come out overcooked with others will be under-cooked.

3. While asparagus is regular green asparagus that has been deprived of sunlight. This gives white asparagus a more mild flavor and makes it slightly more tender, but it also costs more.

4. It’s best to eat asparagus within 2 to 3 days of purchase.

5. To keep asparagus fresh, store it in the refrigerator with the tips wrapped in a moist paper towel.

6. Before cooking, bend the asparagus stalk in half. The stalk will naturally break — the bottom half you can throw away and the top half will be perfect for cooking

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