Asparagus, as a folk name ‘sparrow grass,’ the scientific name ‘Asparagus Officinalis was once classified in the lily family, like the onions and garlic. Tall, slender asparagus is one of nature’s most beautiful vegetables. How fortunate that it’s also delicious and nutritious.
Asparagus has a well-balanced nutritional profile, providing vitamins A and C, plus B vitamins, antioxidants, folate, and fiber. Since ancient times it’s been valued as a vegetable and healthy food. Greeks and Romans enjoyed it fresh and also dried it for winter use.
Asparagus Selection and Storage
Asparagus is a welcome sign of spring, so celebrate the season by enjoying fresh, locally grown shoots when they are at their best and least expensive. Most asparagus grown in the U.S is green, though a tasty purple variety is now showing up in farmers’ markets and some produce departments. Whatever the color or size, look for stalks with tightly closed tips and smooth straight stalks.
Asparagus is very perishable. Refrigerate it with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel, or placed it upright in a glass with an inch of water in the bottom.
The skinniest asparagus can be enjoyed raw and works well in a salad. Try serving asparagus with a vinaigrette or vegan mayonnaise and toasted bread crumbs as a side dish. Asparagus is perfect in pasta, grain-based main courses, stir-fries, and rice dishes.
You can also watch our ” crazy asparagus cake” video below 🙂