The long, cool spring has meant a bumper crop of asparagus and aren’t we lucky. This versatile vegetable has a long history dating back to the Egyptians and was described in Roman culinary writing as early as the 1st century AD. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and is known for its diuretic, expectorant and stimulant properties. Throughout history, only one rule pertains to asparagus: do not overcook!

A quick, short cook is the best way to enjoy asparagus. Whether you steam, roast with prosciutto, grill, serve cold drizzled with balsamic or indulged with Hollandaise, asparagus is a perennial springtime favorite. And, let’s not forget the silky asparagus soup.

Asparagus preserves very well in several forms. It can be blanched and frozen or dehydrated. It is excellent in fermented form. Pickled asparagus is delicious when eaten or popped into a Caesar drink. Asparagus, like most vegetables, is low-acid and must be pressure canned for long-term storage. Whether frozen, dried, canned or pickles, asparagus is a constant reminder of spring.

Embrace the bumper crop of asparagus this year and experiment with new recipes or try your hand at preserving asparagus for enjoyment in the winter months when sourcing fresh vegetables can be a challenge.

For more information contact: martha@thevalleypreservery.ca

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