Preserving Asparagus at home can be done easily with either your oven or a commercially available dehydrator. Asparagus was first grown around the Mediterranean Sea and has been used by the Greeks and Romans for both food and medicine for over 2,000 years. Since the 1600's, it has been grown in the United States, and is a popular early Spring treat throughout the world.
Asparagus is a delicate vegetable that looses nutritional value quickly, so preserving asparagus must be done as soon as possible after harvest. Asparagus can be steamed, boiled, cooked into sauces and casseroles, and eaten raw. Be careful not to cook too long, as the spears will become limp and loose some of the delicate flavor. Cook only the amount needed for the meal, as cooked asparagus does not keep well at all!
Growing Asparagus requires special care, but the rewards of having fresh asparagus each Spring for 25 or 30 years are well worth the extra effort.
When Harvesting Asparagus patience will be required as the root stock needs to grow strong for three years before the harvest can be fully appreciated.
Freezing Asparagus produces good results as long as special care is taken to assure that the young, tender spears are treated properly before freezing. If using the traditional method, make sure that the time spent in the blanching boiling water bath is not too long. Small spears should not be blanched for more than two minutes and larger spears should not be blanched for more than three minutes, tops.
Vacuum sealing the asparagus spears allows you to freeze the spears without the blanching, keeping the texture fresh and the color at optimum green.
Drying Asparagus is also a good way to preserve asparagus. This method is great for use in soups and can be taken camping, to use in stews and campfire cooking.
Asparagus Spears prepared by removing the tough lower stems:
16 to 20 Medium Stalks = 1 Pound = 500 Grams = 3 Cups = 750 mL