Asparagus is a versatile vegetable, and even on its own, it can be an incredible, classic side dish. Even though it grows fresh and vibrantly in many farms and backyard gardens throughout the spring, asparagus is available almost all year round, wherever you go.
Nothing is worse than buying a bunch of asparagus, cooking it, and discovering it has already gone bad. When buying asparagus, you’ll need to take the necessary precautions to keep it fresh (see also: How To Keep Fruit Fresh In Mason Jars: A Complete Guide)until you’re ready to cook it in a delectable meal.
In this article, we’ll show you how to store your asparagus so it stays fresher for longer. We’ll also tell you how to find the best asparagus and how to make sure your asparagus lasts.
Buying The Best Asparagus
Finding the freshest bunch of asparagus is important when purchasing it. Look for sturdy stems that are approximately the thickness of a pencil or slightly larger.
Avoid asparagus with thick stalks that are at least the size of a dime. If the stems aren’t around the same size, it’s difficult to cook them all evenly and the thicker ones will become tough and chewy.
The tops should consist of densely packed, dry buds. Freshness can be determined by the presence of bright green or violet tips and lighter green bottoms.
How To Store Asparagus Short-Term
The asparagus you just bought can be kept in the refrigerator with a damp wrap for moisture if you intend to cook it within a day. As soon as you get home, follow these steps:
- Wet a paper towel or kitchen towel and wring it out until it is mostly dry. It should be somewhat damp but not dripping wet.
- In a zip-top bag with the top closed, wrap the asparagus in the moist towel before storing it in the fridge.
- Store the bag with asparagus in the fridge’s vegetable or crisper drawer. Use within 24 hours.
How To Store Asparagus For Longer
If you won’t be using it right away, put the asparagus in a jar with water, just like you would with fresh flowers.
This allows the stalks to absorb moisture all the way to their crowns, maintaining the crispness and vibrancy of the asparagus spear over its entire length. Here’s how you do it:
- Trim about one inch off the bottoms of the asparagus and throw away the ends. Secure the asparagus with a rubber band to make trimming easier.
- Fill a large jar with about one inch of water, then place the asparagus spears in the water.
- Cover the spears with a large plastic bag and place the jar in the refrigerator. Use within three to five days.
Keeping Your Asparagus Fresh
There are a few things you can do to make sure your asparagus stays fresh if you’re not using it within a day:
1. Change The Water
Spears of asparagus shouldn’t be left to rot in filthy water. Get fresh water as soon as the water in the jar appears hazy. As you are holding the asparagus, keep an eye out for any changes in condition.
They may have flaws on the stems, an unpleasant odor, or falling buds.
2. Avoid Overcrowding
Give the asparagus some breathing room. Consider dividing a large bundle into two jars if you only have a small jar.
3. Avoid Freezing Spots
Cold spots in refrigerators, typically at the top shelf or close to where cold air is forced into the device, can reach temperatures that are dangerously close to freezing.
Keep asparagus away from these areas. The asparagus will get mushy when thawed if it freezes.
How To Freeze Cooked Asparagus
If you want to store asparagus for longer than a week, you have the option of freezing it. This should only be done with cooked asparagus:
- Before freezing, blanch the asparagus to preserve its color and texture. To do this, boil the asparagus for two to five minutes in a pot, then immediately remove the spears and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Next, you must flash freeze your asparagus if you don’t want it to stick together in the freezer bag. On a baking sheet lined with paper towels, spread out the asparagus stalks so that there is about an inch or so between each one. The spears should be completely frozen after one to two hours in the freezer.
- After flash freezing, move the asparagus spears to a freezer bag or airtight container that is marked with the date. Your frozen asparagus will keep for about eight to twelve months.
You can make some incredible meals with asparagus, but only if it’s fresh and edible. With this guide, you’ll be able to store your asparagus the right way (see also: How To Store Limes: 6 Easy Ways)and enjoy this timeless vegetable at your next family dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Always keep asparagus in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. This is not a vegetable that can be left out in the open at room temperature.
It is important to store it properly because it spoils so quickly, giving you a chance to enjoy it before it is no longer edible. The best way to keep it fresh is to store it in the refrigerator.
Before storing your asparagus, don’t wash or rinse it. This will cause it to spoil quickly.
It is better to remove the bottoms and set the stems upright in a glass jar filled with one inch of water before putting them in the refrigerator. This should preserve the freshness of your asparagus for at least five days.
If you have any leftover fresh asparagus after cooking it, you might want to keep it for another meal. Any asparagus that is left over should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They should stay edible for two to three days.
When asparagus spears are no longer edible, they will be soft and limp. They could also appear a little bit dry and withered. The asparagus crowns will be mushy and spread out.
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