Harvesting and using your Asparagus crop

Asparagus with poached egg and Hollandaise

Spring = Asparagus.

I love spring for the fact that it is asparagus season. It is a luxury vegetable that I look forward to each year. It has a relatively short harvest time, but is one of the many products I do not buy as it never tastes the same as the spears picked and eaten straight from your garden.
To ensure I get my full of this wonderful vegetable, I have 20 plants growing which will usually see me picking a couple of bunches a week from mid-September (always later in the highlands then on the coast) to at least the end of October.

The only thing I do with my plants at this time of year is surround each plant with a thick ring of coffee grounds to deter slugs and snails and make sure the soil is kept moist.
I harvest the spears by cutting them just below soil level with a small sharp knife.
I try to use these spears as soon as I harvest them but if not I will wrap them in moist paper towel and put them in the crisper of the fridge and use them within the next two days.
I harvest all spears from the plants until they start to get thinner than a pencil, then allow them to grow into their foliage so they can replenish the corms for next year’s crop.

I use the spears in stir fries, as dippers for humus, as a steamed vegetable, grilled or raw in a salad. The secret is to only cook them for a few minutes till they are just tender and still quite rigid. If they are floppy they will be over cooked.

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But my favourite use is with eggs. Why not try them slightly steamed topped with a poached egg (or two) and drizzled with Hollandaise- just sensational.
If the hollandaise is too rich for you, try them as “soldiers” for dipping into soft boiled eggs, this is much healthier way of eating asparagus and always a fun way to introduce this vegetable to kids.

If you do not have Asparagus in your garden why not choose an area over summer and start preparing it for planting corms next winter.
This is such a fuss free easy vegetable to grow and you will have the luxury of your own fresh asparagus for years to come.

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Happy Gardening (and eating!)
Kathy