(Almost) Everything to Know about Asparagus

(Almost) Everything to Know about Asparagus

When, how, and wherein you should eat the season's favorite

Asparagus season has begun! And as usual, it brings with it warmer weather and longer days. But we don’t only love asparagus because we can eat al fresco for the first time in months; we mostly love it because it’s so versatile and tasty. 

Here's how to prepare and make the most of one of our favorite spring treats: 

When?

We can almost set our watch to Asparagus—from April until the end of June, we see it weekly at the farmers’ market and grocery store. In fact, the 24th of June is officially the “last day of Asparagus season.” Why that day specifically? Until the first frost, they have at least 100 days to regenerate and grow new shoots for the coming year.

When it comes to production, Germany comes in at third place—after China and Peru. The US comes in fifth. In Germany alone, 1.9 billion asparagus stalks are consumed each year (and probably triple the amount of Hollandaise sauce.)

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How?

Let’s start with tips for buying. If you want to buy asparagus, you should rub the stalks against each other. If they squeak, they are harvest-fresh. You can also quickly detect quality when you look at the ends of the asparagus stalks. They shouldn’t be dry or wooden.

If you’ve managed to find high-quality asparagus, next comes peeling. With green asparagus, it is enough to peel the bottom third. White stalks should always be peeled completely, as often bitter substances are stored in the skin, which will influence the flavor during cooking.

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If you haven't used up the whole asparagus, it is best to wrap it in a moist kitchen towel and keep it fresh in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. Green asparagus can be placed in a large container with some ice water, so that it remains fresh for longer. 

Wherein?

What was there first—asparagus or hollandaise sauce? Though it is the classic combination, asparagus can also be eaten in different combinations. Here are four of our favorite recipes.

Cream of asparagus soup

Cream of asparagus soup

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In a soup: Not only white asparagus can be processed wonderfully into soup, but also its green twin. Vegetarians replace the chicken stock easily with vegetable stock. We could eat this soup in buckets.

Asparagus salad with lemon mustard dressing

Asparagus salad with lemon mustard dressing

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In a salad: This light salad is the perfect recipe for the first warm spring evenings and is perfectly suited as an office lunch. Simply pack the dressing separately and add it just before serving.

Light penne with asparagus and smoked salmon

Light penne with asparagus and smoked salmon

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In a main course: Asparagus also goes perfectly as a side dish, for example, in combination with penne and smoked salmon. And in 30 minutes, this light but satisfying dish is ready.

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With Hollandaise sauce: Of course, we won’t skip out on the classic. Along with potatoes and boiled ham, this is the tried and true combination—and with good reason. It always works!