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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Asparagus
    Size isn’t an indicator of quality or flavor; thick asparagus is simply from a more mature plant than thin. Look for bright green or violet-tinged spears with firm (not limp) stems and closed, compact tips. When the bunch is squeezed, it should squeak. Avoid stalks that appear woody. White asparagus (grown without sunlight) should be firm and smooth; it has a milder taste and a more delicate texture.

  • How to Store Asparagus
    Trim the bottoms and wrap the cut ends in a damp paper towel. Refrigerate tightly wrapped for up to 3 days. Or treat your spears like fresh flowers: Place the cut ends in a bowl or a vase with an inch of water, cover the tops with a plastic bag, and refrigerate.

    How to Prepare Asparagus
    Before cooking, rinse to remove sand from the tips and snap off or trim the fibrous bottoms (peeling is not necessary).

  • How to Use Asparagus
    Asparagus is good raw, blanched, sautéed, or roasted. Or broil until browned and tender (3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally), drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with Parmesan shavings.

    —Melinda Page

    Real Simple Asparagus Recipes:

    See all Asparagus recipes »

  • How To: Trim Asparagus

    Discover shortcuts for trimming fresh asparagus.

     

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