Both white and green asparagus are commonly available in our markets today. White asparagus has a stronger, earthier taste. Size does not influence the quality of the asparagus but may be a matter of preference.
Look for asparagus with good color and tips that are tight and crisp. Asparagus is best enjoyed immediately after purchasing. Asparagus may be stored for longer periods of time simply by placing bundled stalks upright in a bowl with an inch of water to keep the stalks moist. Or, wrap the ends in a moist paper towl inside a plastic baggie and refrigerate.
Rinse asparagus in cold water before use and trim about a half inch from the bottom of the spear. Asparagus can be boiled, steamed, microwaved or stir-fried. Prepare asparagus until it is tender when pierced with a fork. It is customary to retain some crispness to cooked asparagus. This can be achieved with the blanching technique. Chefs utilize both the stalks and tips, although sometimes not together.
For more cooking techniques and nutrition information, visit http://www.washingtonasparagus.com