What does Asparagus taste like?
It is used as a side dish for many dishes, and those who are health-conscious even eat it as a snack, but what does asparagus taste like?
When most people think about vegetables, the first things that probably come to mind are broccoli, spinach, carrots, kale, cucumbers and so on. Perhaps that’s why the taste of asparagus is relatively “foreign” to many. This nutritious vegetable is packed with loads of fiber and antioxidants, and is widely used in home cooked meals, as well as weight loss diets. But before we get into its benefits, let’s dive into all you need to know about Asparagus:
What does it look like?
Asparagus are typically pencil-sized stalks with a bright-green color, and a small head narrowing to a point. Although a majority of them are green, some varieties also come in purple and white.
What does Asparagus taste like?
It’s a bit difficult to give an accurate description; some compare the taste of Asparagus to broccoli while others say it tastes more like greens beans, but with a stronger flavor.
Asparagus has distinct flavor and taste. When it’s fresh, it has a mild flavor with earthy undertones. However, if you’ve tried Asparagus before, but found that it was a bit bitter or sour, chances are it was past its prime or way overcooked.
What makes asparagus the choice vegetable for most people is its ability to blend with other flavors, when cooked with a different of foods and spices.
What are the benefits of Asparagus?
If you’re still not convinced on the taste, then here are more reasons you should make Asparagus part of your daily diet regime.
Asparagus is a powerhouse when it comes to nutritional value. As small as they seem, a cup of Asparagus is sufficient for almost 70% of your Vitamin K daily allowance.
Additionally, its blend of nutrients provide anti-inflammatory benefits, that help lower the risk of chronic diseases such heart disease and diabetes.
What’s more, its high fiber content helps ease digestion, while regulating blood sugar levels. Its richness in fiber also ensures that the cells in your body remain healthy, by helping flush out toxins, and thus neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals.
How is Asparagus prepared?
Before any cooking can begin, the plant’s woody base stems need to be trimmed first. You can either snap off the cut end of the asparagus (which should be discarded), or use a knife to cut it.
The remaining spears should be stored for preservation, or cooked in any way you prefer. Whether you want it boiled, stir-fried, sautéed or even cooked in your favorite dish, asparagus doesn’t disappoint when it comes to being adventurous in your cooking.
How do I store asparagus?
As asparagus loses its freshness, its rich flavor and taste also begin to fade. To ensure that its original flavor, taste and even nutrients are maintained, it is essential you properly store the vegetable. Here’s how:
- Once you have your trimmed bunch, put them in a cup of water in a straight, standing up position.
- With a plastic bag, cover the batch loosely to prevent water from evaporating through the tips.
- Afterwards, place everything as it is, in the refrigerator.
What foods does Asparagus go well with?
Repetition can make even the most delicious of foods begin to taste bland. To avoid this, here is a list of a few foods that can help you make the most of asparagus’ rich taste:
- Ham and cheese
- RiceVeggies such as olives, tomatoes and chickpeas
- Lamb; among others.
Because of the vegetable’s distinct flavor, it goes great with foods that are a bit salty or have a plain taste.
How exactly do I cook Asparagus?
Although, you’re free to try out different methods, there are five main ways you can cook your asparagus:
You can either do this on a grill or in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Celsius, line a tray with baking foil and then place your oil-drizzled asparagus. Season it with salt, lemon zest, pepper and even garlic, then roast it for 10 minutes.
If you want infuse in a bit of flavor then you should try out a griddled asparagus recipe.
On a lightly heated pan, drizzle your preferred choice of oil and then add your asparagus spears, either whole or shredded. Cook for a few minutes, until they soak up most of the oil. Then, add salt and pepper, as desired.
How do you blanch asparagus? Well, simply tie a batch of the spears into bundles, boil them for a few minutes and then dip them in ice-cold water. You can serve it topped with mayo or lemon.
Not only does this method add a scrumptious crunchy texture, but it also helps retain the flavor, even when the leftovers are stored in the fridge.
On a steaming rack, place your asparagus spears and cook while covered, for at least three minutes. Similar to blanching, steamed asparagus maintain their unique taste, only that they are a bit softer.
5. Stir Frying
Heat up a pan and throw in your chopped asparagus. Stir for one minute until its cooked, then serve.
If you intend to stir fry it along with something else, always remember to add it towards the end and never at the beginning, as it can lead to overcooking, which can ruin the taste.
Whatever method you choose, the basic principle for asparagus is to cook it fast and never overcooked. You can even eat it raw as a finger food, or in your favorite salads.
Like most vegetables, asparagus comes with a certain level of sugar content, so if you want to enhance its flavor, maybe try steaming, roasting or stir-frying it in high heat to caramelize the sugar.
When and where can I get asparagus?
Although most supermarkets can have asparagus all year round, there are usually in abundance in the very early springtime.
So what does asparagus taste like? Well, you have to try it to find out. Asparagus is versatile when it comes to taste. The way it tastes raw, might not be how it tastes roasted, so if you don’t like it the first time, just switch up your method of cooking.