Did you know that asparagus keep growing after they’re harvested? Green asparagus are cut just hours after they’ve hit daylight and turned color, but the shoots continue to turn the sugars absorbed from their roots into energy and new tissue. Two things happen…
First, the tips keep growing. In fact, the curved tips you sometimes see are the result if the bunches were lying down sideways in a container and not placed upright.
Second, and more important to the taste, asparagus use the sugars to toughen the wounded ends into a hard fibrous sheath. This woody end is unappetizing, but not to worry. Take an asparagus and bend it near the bottom and it should snap where the tough meets the tender. Inspect the tip end to see if it’s moist. If it’s not, cut more off the end with a knife. Use this tip as your guide to cut the rest of the bunch.
To cook, simply blanch asparagus in salted water for a minute or two, plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Courtesy of Neal Maxymillian, friend of the Farm at Eastman’s Corner