For the launch party of Gezond & Blij zonder diëten I served asparagus. Delicious. Asparagus are healthy and now the asparagus time has started again! Normally the seasons starts mid April, depending on the weather. When it is cold it will start a little bit later. You can use the whole asparagus without waste. From the stem and skin you can make a delicious homemade asparagus soup.
I went to my favourite asparagus farmer in Oirschot last Saturday. Just around the corner of my town Eindhoven, ten minutes drive or half hour by bike. It was packed and the fridge was empty.
The asparagus I wanted (AA, thick and straight and best quality) were sold out, unfortunately. The farmer peeled some fresh ones for me but I had to come back for the thick ones.
A chef told me once that the thick ones have the most flavor and nutrition. The packed structure of fibers in a thin asparagus could be the reason that the thick ones have a more tender structure and are slightly juicier. I found out that this farmer -Van Gerven in Oirschot- has the best asparagus in The Netherlands: In 2014 they won the award and they deliver to the Royal Family.
(c) Three pictures are from the asparagus farm of Van Gerven
Eat directly after picking
Asparagus start to lose its sugar content within hours of being picked. In asparagus, this sugar is converted into tough, indigestible fibers. It’s really the best if you eat asparagus the day it’s picked. Not only for the sugar content but the asparagus loses water quickly. You can feel the freshness at the end of the asparagus: if it is dry, you have to cut a part of and when it comes from the farm you don’t have to cut it. The longer the piece you have to cut of, the older it is. Fortunately there is a way to make them fresh again!
You can put them in a bowl of water for several hours.
Delicious bomb of nutrients
Asparagus contains vitamins C, A, and B, calcium, iron, potassium, folate, and dietary fiber. Asparagus is high in glutathione. An antioxidant that help defend the body against imbalances and diseases.
Steam don’t cook!
Last year I steamed the asparagus for about 15-20 minutes. A friend told me it was the best he ever had. Steaming is better than to cook it in water to keep the flavor, since the flavor of the asparagus dissolve in water very well. When you cook them in water, many of the flavors are lost in your cooking water. This year I had another device: a waterbath. Now the flavors can’t go anywhere. For those who have the opportunity of a water bath: 15-20 minutes at 85°C, it is delicious, they still have the al-dente bite.