Asparagus are considered to be one of the delicacies of the vegetable world and have a distinct, intense savoury flavour.

They are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant and while French asparagus is purple, the North American varieties are green. In contrast, Spanish and many Dutch asparagus is white, as it’s grown beneath the soil and cut just as the tips emerge.All types pack a nutritional punch, with high levels of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and calcium.

Choose carefully when buying fresh asparagus. Look for bright green stalks with tightly closed, compact tips. Stalks should be straight, firm and about 6 to 11 inches in length. Try to avoid asparagus with white butts because the white portion is unusable. One pound of fresh asparagus will make 4 servings.

Store fresh asparagus by wrapping the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel. Put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Plan to use within 2 day

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