Selecting & Storing Asparagus
Look for firm, bright smooth, spears of uniform size with closed, compact tips. When you snap freshly harvested asparagus, it should be crisp, moist and juicy.
Freshly harvested asparagus is very similar to cut flowers - it needs to be kept in cool, humid conditions. Below are two tried and true methods of storing fresh asparagus. Choose the method that suits you.
- To keep asparagus fresher for longer, wrap it in a damp tea towel, pop in a plastic bag and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge.
- Stand the fresh spears upright in a container with 1cm cold water, cover and store it in the refrigerator.
- Wash the asparagus thoroughly and remove the woody ends.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Carefully add the asparagus. If you are blanching a large amount of asparagus, blanch in batches of 2 bunches to maintain the temperature of the water.
- Stand the asparagus in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes then remove immediately.
- Transfer the asparagus to a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes to reduce the temperature quickly and prevent further cooking.
- Drain the asparagus well on clean tea towels or paper towel.
- Transfer to freezer bags, secure and label with date.
- Store in the freezer until required for up to 8 months.
- Wash 2 kg asparagus and remove the woody ends.
- Cut the spears into 2-3 pieces.
- Place the asparagus in a large saucepan and cover with about 1.5 L of water and 1.5 L vinegar.
- Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally then remove the asparagus from the pan and drain well.
- Spread the asparagus out on clean tea towels or a tablecloth and allow to cool.
- Half fill clean empty sterilised jars with vegetable oil or olive oil and place the asparagus into the jars. If you like you can add your choice of flavouring – garlic, mint or chilli. Top up with oil to fill the jar and place on sealed lids.
- This asparagus is best eaten at least 8 days after bottling.