Whether green or white – asparagus is one of the most popular springtime vegetables. Served together with a classic Hollandaise sauce, boiled potatoes, salmon or even as a yummy soup, the "king of vegetables" can be prepared in many different ways, all guaranteed to please.
We also have several hints and tips, a recipe you can cook yourself and more great product recommendations – all about asparagus!
Asparagus is a member of the lily family. The asparagus plant is a perennial plant in which only the rootstock (rhizome) survives the winter, deep beneath the surface. Each year in springtime, the plants form shoots, which are harvested as spears with a length of approx. 20 cm. Depending on the region and weather, asparagus season starts between mid-March and mid-April and traditionally ends on 24 June.
Asparagus should be stored covered and as cold as possible. Wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge, fresh asparagus can be kept fairly well for 2 to 3 days. Green asparagus should be stored upright, standing in water.
Asparagus is over 90 per cent water, which means it only has around 20 calories per 100 g. In addition to aspartic acid, asparagus also contains potassium salts, phosphorus and essential oils that have a dewatering effect and stimulate kidney function. It also contains the important vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E and folic acid.
Asparagus is sold in a variety of grades, which are intended to ensure a certain level of quality to simplify purchasing.
Extra - 12mm, straight stalks; tips firmly closed
HK I - 10mm, well-formed stalks; slight discolouration
HK II - 8mm, stalks less well-formed; stronger discolouration
First, rinse the asparagus under cold water, to remove any remaining sand from the tips. Before cooking, white asparagus is peeled from the tip down; for green asparagus, peeling the lower third of the spears is enough. Then cut off the woody ends – approx. 1-2 cm. An asparagus peeler makes it fast and easy to peel the spears, regardless of whether you're a right- or left-hander.
To unlock its full flavour, the asparagus is boiled in plenty of water with salt, a pinch of sugar, lemon juice and a pat of butter. Depending on the thickness, white or violet asparagus has to be cooked for 15-20 minutes; green asparagus is finished in 10-15 minutes. Hint for testing whether it's done: poke a knife into the end of the spear. it should be soft, but still offer a little resistance.
Asparagus can be prepared upright or horizontally. The original pro collection® asparagus pot is perfect for upright cooking. With its special strainer insert, it holds the asparagus spears upright during cooking, so they don't move around too much and the tender tips don't break off. After cooking, the insert lets you lift the asparagus from the pot conveniently and the water drains quickly and cleanly. If you prefer horizontal cooking, you can do so with the magic edition multi roaster: its 7.1 l volume offers plenty of room to cook the asparagus gently. Here, as well, the steamer insert makes it easy to remove the asparagus and drain the water. The roaster's stainless steel lid can also be used as a serving plate and can even be pre-heated.
Besides all this, if you prefer the classic dish with spring potatoes and Hollandaise sauce, we recommend using the conical pan from the original pro collection to prepare the velvety butter sauce.