I love this recipe!
The asparagus is nicely crisp-tender, a beautiful bright green, and works a treat in everything from salads to appetizer trays to being added to rice, soups, or stews.
I also get questions and comments from friends; asking me how it is that my asparagus is always so good?!?
I start to explain that it is a simple procedure, only to have them scoff and say
“Sure, for you!”
Nope! Blanched asparagus is wicked simple and easy to make for just about anyone with a pot of water, salt, sugar, ice water, and, of course, fresh asparagus.
First, though, thanks to Alex Guarnaschelli for sharing this method.
•1 tbsp salt
•1 tbsp sugar
Wash your asparagus and cut off the bottom inch or so of the spears. Don’t bother with that old “bend and snap” trick – you’ll end up tossing a lot of perfectly fine asparagus.
Place your trimmed asparagus in a wide bowl, cover with cold water, and set aside to soak for 30 minutes or so.
While the asparagus is soaking, add the salt and the sugar to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
Once the water is bubbling nicely, add the asparagus spears, then cover the pot and cook for 2-1/2 to three minutes – just until the asparagus is bright green.
Immediately transfer the asparagus to a large bowl filled with ice water (I wipe out the bowl I used to soak the spears in the first place, then add cold water from the fridge and ice cubes) – stirring a bit so that all of the spears are well blended with the ice and the cold water.
Note: this step is called “shocking,” and will stop the asparagus from cooking any further, and help to lock in that beautiful green color.
Let the asparagus spears rest in the ice water for 15 minutes or so, then transfer to a platter lined with a clean kitchen towel too drain and dry.
Store the blanched spears in a zipper bag in the fridge until needed.