Western Living Magazine
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From handpicking the best stalks to simmering perfection, here are our top tips for creating the best asparagus dish this summer.
Versatile and bold, asparagus is a summer favourite. Packing a palatable and health-conscious punch, it is the perfect side dish for a summer BBQ or Sunday brunch. With only a few short months of primary growing season the question becomes: how do you get the most out of the short asparagus season? Here are our top tips to help you make the perfect asparagus dishes all season long. Choosing the Right StalksThe best and most versatile asparagus stalks are bright green in colour with closed and compact tips. Try to look for straight and firm stalks, usually around 6-11 inches long. Although we’re privy to farmers market picks, like Okanagan Asparagus Farm’s seasonal crop, store-bought stalks work well too. Pro-tip: the white ends of the stalk are usually unusable so look for ones that have little to no white showing. Preparing to Perfection There are a lot of ways to prepare asparagus, from steaming to boiling to roasting. No matter which method you choose, the trick is to make sure to not over or undercook it. If you choose to steam the stalks, remove the asparagus from heat when the stalks are tender-crisp. However, if you choose to oven-roast them, which takes a bit longer, remove the stalks from heat when they are tender but still slightly firm. For more information, check out the Asparagus Farmer’s of Ontario‘s preparation guide. If you’re looking for a good asparagus recipe, try a festive brunch favourite: Poached Eggs and Asparagus with Truffled Hollandaise.