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Apr 8, 2009 10:40 AM

Asparagus prep

I'm serving asparagus for a luncheon. I can par-cook/blanch it the day before then reheat it without it becoming limp and unedible before serving, right? Thanks!

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  1. How do you plan on reheating it?
    The easiest pre-prep way to do awesome asparagus is to make it like so:
    Prep asparagus the day before and dry it well. Place the asparagus on a foil-lined baking sheet and cover.Store in fridge.
    About 15 min. before serving, turn on broiler. Take asparagus out of fridge, uncover, drizzle with evoo and give it salt, pepper and a good grated cheese, such as parm reg.
    Place under broiler and cook until the cheese is golden, and the asparagus is tender, but still a bit al dente. It should take only 6-8 min., depending on thickness of asparagus. Serve immediately on a platter adorned with lemon slices.
    Your guests will be blown away at how good this method makes asparagus taste!

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      putting your baking sheet in the fridge is a bad idea. just like a skillet, you should actually pre-heat it. putting it cold like that in the oven actually causes condensation to occur and you're inadvertently steaming your food.

    2. I wouldn't cook it takes so little time to cook anyway that it would probably suffer in the reheating step. The new issue of Saveur magazine has a recipe for asparagus done in a microwave that only takes 4 minutes. It seems like that would do the trick without the advance parboiling step. Google Saveur and look for recipes in issue 119. The recipe is asparagus with citrus sauce, but you can just read it for the microwave technique.
      I'm going to make the whole recipe for a birthday party I'm hosting this month.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pcdarnell

        I cook it very quickly in a saute or frying pan - cover the asparagus with cold water, bring to a boil, and at that point, test with a knife - they are usually done.

      2. I never cook mine ahead. It takes just minutes under the broiler or baking why? I think it takes away the flavor. Besides when I eat asparagus. I just like a little olive oil, s/p and a drizzle of fresh lemon. Simple clean crisp but still tender. My favorite way to impress someone. You can cook it as quick as you c an reheat it.

        1. Just drop em into a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes. No pre-cooking.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Water ... NOOOO. I bake broil or grill. I hate using water. Steaming is ok.

            Pre cooking I agree is a no. But I hate putting veggies in water unless just for a minute to blanch. Are you just blanching these first ... then I will agree, but I still prefer the oven or grill.

            Not trying to disagree.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              We had an asparagus patch when I was growing up - year after year. We harvested only thin, young stalks. I can get pretty much the same in Colombia. So they go into boiling water for up to two minutes, into ice water, and thats it. They come out bright green and just slightly al dente.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                That would be good with the thin. Different than the thick which so many get.

                I last night went to a friends late and he made very good pan fried catfish and he wanted me to cook the asparagus. Well I literally had 4-5 minutes to make that bread and potatoes. A few dices and potatoes in the micro, then added the asparagus. Hate to micro, but 1 min oh high and then add to a small saute pan with a little butter, s/p, 4 minutes and so good. They were the thin too which I love.

                Love thin thin asparagus, thin sliced fennel and thin carrots. I also blanch the asparagus and carrots for this. Add the fennel with a light rice wine vinaigrette with fresh dill and so simple and great. Crisp but still al dente. Very yummy.

            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

              I have a weird way of cooking asparagus. I cut the bottom off a large plastic soda bottle and stand the asparagus upright with an elastic band round the asparagus. (The top is off). Use the smallest pan you have and put 1/2 inch of water in it. The asparagus cooks in the steam. If you remove the pan it will keep the asparagus warm for a while without cooking it much more.

              1. re: Paulustrious

                I have to agree, wierd is definitely it. But why not.

              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                I have no problem dropping them in water a few minutes. Taste fine like that to me.

                1. re: Infomaniac

                  I agree, my guests mostly like them softer. I like crisp asparagus just fine. Just considering others is all but understand. Crisp is great for me with green goddess dressing ... (I know old fashioned but it still is good or hollandaise) a weakness for those two. Or just with butter.

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    now that the good weather is coming to the northeast, grilled with a good balsamic vinegar also works for me.

                    1. re: Infomaniac

                      That is an awesome way which I love. I've even done that just with olive oil, s/p and balsamic in a foil pouch 425 for 15 minutes works pretty good. I do that if I'm not grilling. Best part no pots or pans ...

              3. I must agree, olive oil, S&P, oven roasted or grilled. Steaming is acseptable. I also like a crisp or firm texture. I been known to serve it raw with other vegs with a dip.