Asparagus is native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa. The fleshy green spears of asparagus have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. Today the shoots are prepared and served in numerous ways including stir-fried, steamed, sauteed, grilled, pickled, or even eaten raw. Water makes up 93% of asparagus’s composition. As a result, the spears have a very high respiration rate which make it more perishable than most other vegetables. By wrapping the ends in a damp towel, you can offset the respiration rate and prevent the spears from losing water, wrinkling and hardening. Nevertheless it’s best if you consume asparagus within approximately 48 hours of purchase.
The spears should be washed and the ends trimmed. If the shoots are young they will be tender. If they are older and thicker, the ends might be more woody and could be slightly peeled. The shoots can be cooked in numerous ways or eaten raw. Stir-frying, sautéing, and grilling are all popular and easy methods to cook asparagus.
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