Asparagus

Asparagus are perennial plants where the new shoots are harvested early in the spring. The edible part of the asparagus actually consists of the stem and undeveloped leaves.

Asparagus are wonderful side dishes. But the one thing I cringe about most is how most people cook apsaragus. Most often I see people steam or even boil asparagus.

The trick with asparagus is a bit of science. Different flavour compounds in different foods and plants are soluble in different substances. With asparagus, the flavous is water soluble. So what does that mean? If you boil or steam asparagus, all the flavour gets washed away. What you want to do with asparagus is cook it in such a way that the flavour stays in the dish.

My favourite was of cooking asparagus is in the pan. Add olive oil to a pan and get it nice and hot. Throw in your apraragus, add some salt and pepper, and continue cooking until it's deep green with bits of brown developing. If I want to accentuate the earthyness of the asparagus, I'll sometimes add truffel oil. Just make sure to try and not overcook the asparagus. Ideally it should have a bit of crispness in the centre.

If you don't want to use a pan, simply coat your asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can then put it on the BBQ and grill it, or you can even broil it in the oven. The important part is the olive oil that holds the flavours in the asparagus without letting it escape as steam.

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