Have you seen the lush asparagus that’s been coming to our Saturday market? If you haven’t, it’s time to pick some up on your trip to the downtown Evanston farmers’ market.
So you brought your fresh asparagus, but how long will it stay good for?
The answer is, thankfully, for quite some time.
The best way to preserve asparagus is to freeze it. But before you freeze it, we recommend that you blanch it first. And by blanching, we are referring to the boiling process. Blanching your asparagus before boiling it helps it stay greener and helps it retain its texture.
There are two popular ways you can blanch your asparagus.
1. The boiling method
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add up to 1 pound of asparagus at a time to the boiling water. Let the asparagus blanch for 2 – 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears.
When the time is up, immediately drain the blanched asparagus and transfer it to the cold water. Leave it in the cold water for the same amount of time that you left it in the boiling water. Drain the asparagus in a colander.
2. The steaming method
Bring the water under your steaming basket to a boil. Place the asparagus in the basket and cover. Steam for 3 – 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears.
When the time is up, immediately transfer the blanched asparagus spears or pieces to the cold water. Leave them in the cold water for the same amount of time that you steamed them. Drain well in a colander.
And there are also two ways you can freeze your asparagus!
2 Ways to Freeze Blanched Asparagus
1. The easiest way is to place the blanched, chilled and drained asparagus spears or pieces in freezer bags or containers, label the bag with the date it was first frozen.
2. To freeze them without having them stick together (so that you can take out just what you need), flash freeze them first. To flash freeze, spread the blanched asparagus in a single layer on baking sheets. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours, then transfer to freezer bags or containers.