Fresh asparagus is a sign that spring is moving along
Asparagus (cooked) can be nibbled plain, drizzled with a vinaigrette, or served with a freshly made Hollandaise (this recipe is a lighter version, and is almost fail proof).
From May through June it appears at farmer’s markets. (On a side note, if you want to know what is in season in your area, the farmer’s markets are the best source.) While spring stalks seem tender, that softness and pliability can be deceiving. Asparagus must be peeled to remove the outer layer of skin; it is very fibrous and no amount of chewing will break it down. If the stalks are “wood” feeling, then the asparagus is old and peeling will not redeem it. Stalks should be firm, but have a little wobble to them.
We do not have a special asparagus steamer, although they look fun. An asparagus steamer holds the stalks upright. A steam basket of a pasta pot works just fine. If there are no leftovers, you will know that the steam basket worked.
A potato peeler can be used to remove the skin, but it is not an easy tool to work with, as the vegetable is not as stiff as a carrot or a cucumber. Fret not, there is a tool that is made specifically for skin removal from asparagus-an asparagus peeler! You may find it in a cooking store or at Amazon (of course) Westmark Stainless Steel Peeler With a notch in the handle, the asparagus is held in place vs a potato peeler that does not have a backing to hold the long stalk as it is peeled.
- 2 pounds/1Kg fresh asparagus, peeled
Trim dry ends.
Add water to pot to a level where is will not boil to dry, and not so much that it is touching the bottom of the basket. (A pasta pot insert works just as well, but be careful to have some boiled water on hand if more needs to be added to the pot.)
Place asparagus in the steamer basket.
Place lid on pot.
Steam for 20-25 minutes. The stalks should be softened enough to easily bit into.
Serve with Hollandaise, vinaigrette, or with a little EVOO, salt and pepper.