Learn how to blanch asparagus like a pro! Simply cook in boiling water for a few minutes, and then shock in an ice bath. This easy method for blanched asparagus takes just a few minutes and very little prep! Serve it with roasted fish, skillet chicken, or grilled lamb chops. (More ideas in the post!) Or, top your bright, simple blanched asparagus with a flavor-packed Mediterranean salsa with tomatoes, shallots, and fresh herbs.
Course: Salad, Side
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Author: The Mediterranean Dish
1 ½poundsAsparagus,tough ends trimmed (preferably baby asparagus if available)
In a cooking pot or large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water, seasoned with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready next to it (this is an ice bath for the blanched asparagus).
When water comes to a rolling boil, add the prepared asparagus. Boil until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (depending on thickness). Remove with tongs, or drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water for 1 minute to stop the cooking process. Drain; set aside to cool down a bit (or if you prefer to serve it as a salad, chill in the fridge for a bit).
When ready to serve, arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest.
How to store asparagus: It's best to use asparagus within a day or two of buying it for best flavor and texture. But, to make it last a bit longer, place them in a jar with some water (stem side down) and loosely cover with a plastic bag. Refrigerate.
How to cut asparagus spears: Two ways: Either eyeball it and trim off the white/pale green ends with a sharp knife. Or, bend one spear until it snaps. Where it snaps is where you should cut the rest of the spears.
What to serve with blanched asparagus:Fish, chicken, and lamb all go very well with asparagus as a side dish. Or, top the asparagus with a simple Mediterranean-style salsa and serve it as a chilled composed salad.
How to store leftovers: Blanched asparagus will keep for about 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.