By the end of June, asparagus season is officially over. But is it possible to freeze asparagus and enjoy it later?
Asparagus season is short, and when it ends, you’re often left wanting more of this exceptional vegetable. But is it true that asparagus can’t be frozen? In the following article, we’ll examine this myth and much more. Why, for example, your asparagus leftovers should never end up in the rubbish and how best to keep asparagus for maximum culinary joy.
The official name of this popular spring vegetable is asparagus officinalis. Where we are, it’s definitely a seasonal, regional product as it only grows from April to June. And yet, these days you can enjoy asparagus throughout the year. But it has often travelled long distances and never tastes quite as good or as tender as fresh, regional asparagus. Since just three months a year is much too short, many people wonder if it’s not possible to freeze this delicious vegetable so as to satisfy their later cravings.
Freezing asparagus: here’s how to do it right!
First the good news: With a few of our tips and tricks, it’s not at all difficult to freeze this exceptional vegetable. And you can freeze not just green but also white asparagus in your Liebherr fridge. In order to get the crunchiest and most aromatic spears, make sure to use the freshest asparagus. You’ll get the finest sorts directly from the weekly market or your nearest asparagus farmer. You can see that they’re top quality by looking at the moistness of their ends as well as the fullness of their tips. Another tip for ascertaining the freshness of your asparagus: Rub the spears together – if they squeak, they’re fresh.
Once you’ve found the perfect candidates, it’s time to prepare them for the freezing process. Green asparagus doesn’t have to be peeled, white does. The vegetables must be washed, peeled, patted dry, and their fibrous ends must be removed beforehand. A swivel-bladed peeler is just the tool for the task. You should always start at the tip, peeling downward toward the end. After they’re peeled, you can freeze the vegetables. But remember: they must be raw. To make asparagus, pre-cook the vegetables because they’ll lose their crispness and aroma. Consider creating meal-sized portions or chopping some of them in advance, so you don’t have to thaw them all at once. Freezer bags or containers work great for storing your asparagus. You can keep your green or white asparagus for up to twelve months in your Liebherr freezer compartment, so you can have easy access to regional asparagus all year round.
When it comes time retrieve your asparagus from its hibernation, it’s important not to thaw the spears slowly but place them directly into boiling water. That way they stay crunchy and retain all their vitamins and flavours. The normal cooking time is 15 minutes. Here’s a little tip: Take a sharp knife and pierce the asparagus to see whether it’s cooked or not.
Storing fresh green and white asparagus
If you’d prefer not to freeze all your asparagus but don’t want to eat it right away, we have a few tips and tricks for how to properly store raw asparagus. The important thing to keep in mind is the difference between peeled and unpeeled white asparagus. Peeled spears only keep a little while and should be prepared as soon as possible. That’s the only way to truly enjoy the wonderful aroma of this popular vegetable. With unpeeled white asparagus, you can wrap the spears in a moist tea towel. This allows them to stay fresh up to 18 days in your Liebherr BioFresh compartment. Another tip: Don’t keep your asparagus next to food that has an intense aroma like garlic and onions or sausage and cheese. Asparagus quickly absorbs the scents of other food.
Green asparagus is best kept upright in a water glass. Note: The ends of the spears should always remain in water! Green asparagus will also keep in your Liebherr BioFresh compartment without any problems for up to 18 days.
Use your leftovers cleverly and creatively
An unavoidable by-product in the preparation of white asparagus is the peels. Since it would be a shame to simply chuck them in the bin, we have a couple of tricks for you, and there’s something here for everyone. The classic, of course, is to make asparagus cream soup from the leftovers. The following ingredients make four portions:
- Peels of roughly 1 kg of asparagus
- 1 L water
- 50 g butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- A pinch of sugar and nutmeg
- Some lemon juice
- Optional: cream and cuts of asparagus or asparagus ends
Place the asparagus peels and ends into a pot of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Remember: The asparagus peels should not cook much longer, as the soup will otherwise become bitter. Afterwards, drain the stock through a sieve and keep it in a separate container. In a second pot, melt the butter for your roux. Mix in the flour bit by bit with a whisk. Add the stock slowly and continue to stir until the soup has a creamy consistency. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste and serve! If desired, you can also add the asparagus cuts and cream.
Another great way to use the asparagus peels is to make asparagus salt. For this, you only need to clean the peels and then dry them for approximately one hour in a dehydrator or in your oven at 100 °C. Always keep the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape. Then grind the dried peel with a mortar and pestle or chop it in a food processor and mix it with sea salt. You can add dried orange or lemon peel as well as rosemary as desired. Have fun trying it out!
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