Asparagus, Green Selection Information | Nutritional Information | Tips & Trivia
Scientific Binomial Name: Asparagus officinalis
Raw in salads; Steamed or microwaved.
High quality asparagus has tender stalks that are nearly completely green (except for the white asparagus variety).
Tender stalks will usually be medium-sized and the tips will be firmly closed. Do not skip buying asparagus simply because the stalks are fairly thick - simply peel and cook as you normally would!
Avoid asparagus with wrinkled stalks and wilted tips. Also avoid stalks that are too thin.
If possible, store asparagus upright in a shallow pan in your refrigerator with only the freshly cut stalk sitting in a little bit of water. Make sure the tips do not get wet.
In general, vegetables will not ripen further after harvest.
Asparagus is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It's also an excellent source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Zinc and Selenium, and a great source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (
To keep asparagus fresh, cut 1/2 inch off of the base of the stalk and stand the asparagus upright in an inch of warm water (do not let the tips soak in water!). This will also revive asparagus that looks wilted and limp.
For an elegant appetizer or spring salad, steam asparagus, sprinkle with red wine or Balsamic vinegar and refrigerate. When ready to serve, top with chopped toasted almonds.
Today's asparagus has been bred from wild plants that were native to western and central Asia and central Europe.
Asparagus has always been considered a luxury vegetable, highly prized in ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece. In Europe, its popularity flourished under the reign of Louis XIV of France, a devotee who encouraged its production.
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