It’s sweet, delicate and tender, and the good news is that imports and new harvest innovations make this tasty stock available all year round.
How to buy
Asparagus should be uniform in colour, with smooth, straight spears and tight pointed tips. Canadian asparagus peaks in early summer, a perfect time to buy local and avoid transport time and costs.
How to store
Eat right away if possible because asparagus loses flavour after it has been cut. If you need to wait, treat the stocks like flowers and place upright in a jar. To keep for a few days, wrap stems in a wet paper towel, place in a plastic bag and store in the crisper for up to four days.
How to prepare
Rinse under cold water and then cut or snap off as little of the ends as possible. Thin spears shouldn’t require peeling but thicker ones may need to be pared starting about half way down because of their tougher skin. Tips cook the fastest, so it’s best to boil asparagus standing up. To do this, bundle in bunches of six or eight with a piece of string or elastic band and prop up in a stockpot. Serve topped with butter or lemon. Or, for real asparagus lovers, try sandwiching half a dozen spears in between two pieces of bread.
5 spears of asparagus: 18 calories, 15 mg calcium, 8 mg vitamin C, 2 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g dietary fibre, 120 mg potassium