What Does Asparagus Taste Like, How Can You Cook It?
More people than you would believe have never tried asparagus. I have had countless folks approach me and ask a question that, being an asparagus lover myself, seems unreal.
What Does Asparagus Taste Like?
The green delicacies have become one of my favorite vegetables, a treat for any occasion--BBQs, formal diners, and starter snacks for social gatherings—so this question always catches me by surprise. I end up asking myself: “There are people who have not tried asparagus?”
I usually find out that most people who have never tried asparagus fear the greenness that has commonly been associated with unsavory vegetables. Some people cringe at the site of asparagus. I have had people tell me that when they set eyes on asparagus, immediately they are hurled into their childhood; back to their parents screaming:
“You are not leaving this table until you finish your asparagus!”
If you are one of these unfortunate souls, my goal is to change your perspective, because you don’t know what they’re missing! I will quickly provide you with a brief description of asparagus and its relation to the palate.
Asparagus is a firm vegetable with squashy notes, and hints of broccoli. However, asparagus, and the way it tastes, all depends on how you go about cooking it.
An All-Time Favorite
Asparagus is one of my favorite ingredients to incorporate into a meal. You can either cook it by itself, for a delicious snack, or you can add it to boost up other dishes. In this article, I will share some asparagus recipes I have gathered throughout my asparagus-loving life.
Some of these recipes are well-known, some are recipes with a twist passed down through my family, while others are my own personal recipes. One thing is for sure, these recipes are delicious! So, all of you, anti-asparagus people out there, check this out!
Asparagus Solo: Some Basic Tips & Recipes
For starters, asparagus MUST be cooked. Eating it raw can prove very displeasing, and nearly impossible. So, before you bite into that asparagus, MAKE SURE TO COOK IT!
One of the easiest ways, and most common ways, to cook asparagus is with the tin foil method. The method can be done on a BBQ or in an oven.
The Classic Tin Foil Method
This classic way to cook asparagus requires minimal work, and does not ask for many ingredients and supplies. All you need is tin foil, asparagus, salt, pepper, and butter.
To prepare this in an oven, you will
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Tare off a between 1-1 ½ feet of aluminum foil
- Gently spread your asparagus across the foil
- Take ¼ stick of butter and cut into 4 equal slivers
- Equally disperse butter slivers across the asparagus
- Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper; drizzling equally among the asparagus
- BONUS: I like to add herbs to my asparagus, such as Italian Herbs and dried Thyme
Once you have your asparagus ready, slide it into the oven. It is wise to check every 15 minutes with a fork, as asparagus is not equal in size; larger asparagus will take longer to cook, while thinner asparagus cooks much faster. If the asparagus is soft, and the fork easily penetrates, then you are good to go!
If you are using a BBQ for this method, then the same rule applies: check every 15 minutes with a fork. When your asparagus is cooked, carefully set aside somewhere safe, let cool for 5 minutes, and then enjoy!
A Little Family Twist!
My mother has her own way of making asparagus; a method that had my taste buds addicted at a young age. Her method still entailed the tin foil route, however, she threw a twist at the classic method. When I am in need for a healthy snack, this asparagus starter is a great alternative!
Use the same ingredients above, only add minced garlic (2 cloves) and add freshly grated parmesan cheese. If you didn’t like asparagus before, then your mind will surely change after you try this one!
Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s move onto bigger fish; figuratively and literally.
Salmon & Asparagus in a Skillet
This asparagus recipe takes some time, and practice, but once mastered, well, let’s say that your next dinner party just got better!
You will need:
- A skillet
- Salt & Pepper
- Dried Italian Herbs
- A Poblano Pepper
Now that you got the goods…
…check out these 4 steps!
Step 1: Start with ½ stick of butter and a fairly-large, cast iron skillet. With the heat setting turned down just below medium, melt your butter with 2 minced cloves of garlic added to the mix. Make sure to wash your asparagus while butter is melting.
Step 2: Once your butter melts, submerge your asparagus in it, spreading it evenly along the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, any other seasoning you desire on top of the asparagus, and make sure to add dried Italian Herbs; about three table spoons. Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes; rotating the asparagus and checking it every 5 minutes.
Step 3: While your asparagus cooks, well, this is a great time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare your Poblano Pepper. Mince 1 pepper into small cubes. When your oven is at the right temperature, and once your asparagus is ALMOST done (slightly firm texture when poked with fork), turn off the stove top.
Step 4: Now you are going to want to add your salmon. Season your fish to taste, plop it on top of the asparagus, spray ¼ lemon wedge on the fish, place a small sliver of butter on top, sprinkle your diced Poblano Pepper on top of everything, and slide the skillet into the oven. Cook for 5-10 minutes, and then enjoy!
I am telling you! Just try these two recipes, and your attitude will completely change about asparagus! No longer will you be a “what does asparagus taste like?” again!
For my fellow asparagus-lovers out there, well, the wide world of asparagus just got tastier! Cheers and happy meals!