Asparagus is a delicacy that’s often served as a side dish or in a salad. It has a distinct, fresh flavor and is great for adding to recipes. You can use it raw or cooked but the first thing you should know is how to trim asparagus?
Trimming asparagus is easy and this article will walk you through the step-by-step process of it.
Before you learn how to trim asparagus, learn more about it!
Before we head on trimming asparagus, it would be better to know more about this vegetable!
- Asparagus is a vegetable that’s grown in the ground. It looks like a bunch of green stems, and it can be eaten cooked or raw.
- Asparagus belongs to the lily family, which means its leaves look like ferns.
- It was first cultivated in ancient Greece, where they ate it raw and dipped it in oil.
- In the late 1800s, asparagus became popular in America because of its health benefits.
- It’s high in vitamins K, A, B6, and C; plus minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium!
- Asparagus plants are perennial, meaning they can live for many years if they are cared for properly.
- The plant’s flowers are hermaphroditic, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. They produce berries that are edible and can be used to make wine.
- Asparagus has a reputation for being very difficult to grow, but it’s actually pretty easy to grow at home if you have a little patience and know what you’re doing!
Harvesting before trimming asparagus
You can harvest asparagus when the spears are between 6 to 10 inches long.
- If you’re not using any tool to harvest, you can break the spears by hand and close to the soil level.
- If you’re using a knife, you need to cut it carefully since there are possible neighboring spears that are still developing and you don’t want to damage them
- Place your knife near the spear and just tilt at a 45-degree angle, two inches below the ground.
Using a knife is important in harvesting and cutting
When you use a knife, you can ensure that you cut the spears with precision and just right near the soil. However, you must not hurt other growing spears and crowns near your harvest.’
Harvesting spears by hand can be quick but you might not get the exact trimming point of asparagus. This can lead to a shorter shelf-life of your asparagus. But if you’ll use it immediately, harvesting by breaking off is just fine.
How to trim asparagus?
The best way on how to trim asparagus is by using a knife and cutting board. Although some use scissors or vegetable cutters to trim asparagus, we recommend using a knife for better and more efficient output.
When trimming asparagus, you need to line up all your spears and just slice the ends. Since asparagus can be expensive at times, you don’t want to lose even an inch of it!
Step-by-step process on how to trim asparagus
You can make the most out of your asparagus by trimming it properly. This guide will teach you how to do that!
But before you begin, you need to remove dark or shriveled stalks. These are not ideal for cooking.
1. Clean the spears.
The first step of preparation is to clean your asparagus.
The only thing you need here is to wash or rinse all the spears using a colander. Don’t use hot water, cold or tap water will do. After that, you just need to shake it so you can get rid of the excess water.
Your asparagus shouldn’t have too much water on it because it will affect the incorporation of seasoning and oil later when you cook it. The drier, the better.
2. Trim it.
After drying, you just need to align the woody ends of your asparagus on a cutting board. Use a sharp and larger knife to cut one to two inches off the stalks.
So, what do you do with the trimmed ends? You can either discard it or save it if you want to stock it.
3. Cut using a knife, not by hand!
One common mistake of people when trimming asparagus is they bend the spears to cut it. Although you can do it, it isn’t the best way to save as much asparagus as you want. Plus, your spears will only look bad because of that bend!
Bending asparagus is not ideal because it won’t break instantly when you bend it. The freshness and thickness of asparagus are something you should consider when trimming it.
So, if you don’t want to ruin your asparagus and save more, you must use a knife!
Is it necessary to trim asparagus?
Trimming asparagus is not necessary. Before you decide on trimming your asparagus, you need to check your spears first.
For example, if you have freshly harvested and thin stalks, there’s no need to cut them. The reason is that these fresh and thin stalks mostly don’t have the woody or chewy ends yet. So, there will be no problem when cooking it.
But if you have thick and stock stalks with woody ends, you definitely need to trim them. The woody ends might be hard to cook and if they did, it would be chewy.
If you’re not sure whether to trim or not, be on the safer side. Just cut the end so you can avoid chewy parts if ever.
Tips for cutting asparagus
Asparagus is one of the most versatile vegetables you can work with. It’s great raw or cooked in a variety of ways. you can roast it or blanche it or even grill it. But if you want to get creative, there are a lot of fun ways to use asparagus as well!
Here are some tips for cutting up your asparagus.
- Cut off the bottom of the stalk first. This will give you a flat surface on which to rest your knife and make it easier to cut the stalk into pieces.
- After that, you can choose whether or not to peel the stalks. If you’re going for a more rustic look, leave them unpeeled; if you want something more refined, peel them with a vegetable peeler before slicing them into pieces.
- Once they’re sliced, feel free to cut them into smaller pieces if desired (they’ll cook faster), or just serve them whole if that’s what looks best on your plate!
Trim your asparagus today!
There you have it! Now you know how to trim asparagus. It’s a simple process, and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll find yourself doing it automatically every time. Try out these tips as soon as possible. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it makes to cook your favorite dishes.