Asparagus is not a native vegetable in Indonesia and it is not commonly used in everyday Indonesian dish so I consider it as an exotic vegetable worth to explore.
Let’s learn more about asparagus.
The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. Asparagus stalks should be rounded, and neither fat nor twisted. Look for firm, thin stems with deep green or purplish closed tips. The cut ends should not be too woody, although a little woodiness at the base prevents the stalk from drying out. Once trimmed and cooked, asparagus loses about half its total weight.
Use asparagus within a day or two after purchasing for best flavor. Store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel, and be sure to place the asparagus in the back of the refrigerator away from any light, since folate is destroyed by exposure to air, heat or light.
Tips for Preparing Asparagus:
Asparagus can be served hot or cold. While it is not necessary to peel asparagus, you should cut off the woody base before cooking. Wash it under cold water to remove any sand or soil residues.
You can tie asparagus stalks in a bundle to steam them, as this will make it easier to remove the stalks once cooked.
Avoid cooking asparagus in iron pots as the tannins in the asparagus can react with the iron and cause the stalks to become discolored.
My first encounter with asparagus
The first asparagus recipe that caught my attention was Grilled asparagus wrapped with proscuitto (by Hungry Girl) I found in LifestyleFood.com.
As always, I only use the recipe as a guide and come out with my own version.
(note: the original recipe used Prosciutto for the wrap but I consider prosciutto as similar to bacon so I used the available bacon from my refrigerator. For those who don’t eat pork, you can use beef bacon)
- 24 asparagus spears
- 12 slices of bacon
- 1 lemon (optional)
- cut any thick woody ends from the asparagus and discard
- add asparagus to a pan of boiling salted water
- cook for 2-3 minutes or until the asparagus is bright green and tender
- drain quickly and dry the stalks
- wrap each 2 pieces of asparagus spear in a slice of bacon
- to make the bacon stick to the asparagus I use tooth-pick.
- preheat barbecue grill or griddle plate
- barbecue the asparagus
- turning regularly until char marks appear
- remove from grill
- drizzle with a squeeze of lemon and season with pepper (*)
(*) This is based on Hungry Girl’s recipe. In my own version, I skip the lemon and pepper, I just love the taste of grilled bacon as it is.
Best when serve immediately
It’s simple yet delicious.
- World Healthiest Food (whFood.com)
- Hungry Girl (LifestyleFood.com)