What is it?

Asparagus is an herbaceous perennial plant that is grown for its young shoots, also known as spears, which are eaten typically in the Spring. It can be green, purple, or white, and is tender and sweet when it's cooked. As a vegetable it provides excellent nutrition, providing folic acid, iron, rutin, various vitamins, and other beneficial elements. This vegetable has been used from very early times for culinary purposes, owing to its delicate flavor and many health benefits.

What does it taste like?

The different color varieties vary in flavor slightly, purple being more nutty, and white having a more delicately sweet flavor. Many people compare the taste of this highly versatile vegetable with mushrooms, while others find it resembles broccoli. Baked and enhanced with a bit of lemon juice, it tastes rather like a bolder green bean. It is known to easily soak up whatever flavors you use to prepare it, and pairs well with garlic, lemon, and shallots.

What to do with it?

Boiling, steaming, roasting, sauteing, broiling, and pan-roasting are various ways to make the tender green spears pop with flavor. The fibrous vegetable cooks up in minutes, for a healthy side dish. Or use fresh, raw spears in your salads/pasta salads for an irresistible snappy texture.

How to store it?

Asparagus tastes best when cooked the day you buy it. If that's not in the cards, store them as you would store cut flowers: Trim the bottoms and stand the spears up in a glass or jar with about an inch of water. Cover with a plastic bag then refrigerate them for up to 4 days.