Asparagus is nice when grilled, smothered with hollandaise sauce, or as an ingredient in other dishes. It is an object of fondness for most people, although it can be the object of hatred for young children (and even some adults).
It is Asparagus month, and we are right in the middle of it.
Scientifically known as Asparagus oficinalis, these are perennial plants that are raised for their tender shoots, subtle flavors, and crisp texture. Aside from being really good for you; asparagus is also used for medicinal purposes, owing to its diuretic properties. It is very high in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals.
This vegetable is also amazingly versatile when it comes to preparations. It can be grilled or steamed and served as a side dish or an appetizer. In Asian cuisine, asparagus is often stir-fried along with meat or seafood. It can also be used as an ingredient in many soup dishes. Cream of asparagus is just one of those popular dishes.
Asparagus generally comes in three varieties (and some recipes you can try with):
Green Asparagus – the usual variety found in supermarkets. The green color of the shoots is derived from photosynthesis as the shoots become exposed to sunlight. Be sure to select only long, thick, dark-green, and glossy shoots since these are the tenderest.
White Asparagus – these are considered as a delicacy in European cuisine. The reason why this variety is white is because the shoots were raised in the absence of sunlight. Traditionally, farmers would arrange the shoots so that they would grow without seeing the sun, although modern methods uses black plastic sheets that serve as covering.
Purple Asparagus – this is the product of research and development in asparagus farming. The purple in this variety came from the higher levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins in the spears. They also have the least amount of fiber, so they can be eaten easily. Purple asparagus also has a sweet, fruity flavor and a crisp, tender texture.