I’m a bit behind on this post but I thought I’d better get it up before asparagus is totally out of season.
The week before we moved Bountiful Baskets (a food co-op group and I participate in sometimes) had a great deal on asparagus – 28 pounds for $27. I split the case with a friend, gave a few pounds away, and ended up with around 10 pounds of fresh tender asparagus to use myself. I knew I would only cook and eat a few pounds during pre-moving week so I opted to freeze the rest.
Freezing asparagus is a really great option. The texture stays tender crisp, the prep to get the asparagus freezer ready isn’t too much, and you’ll be able to have fresh asparagus in the months to come. I pulled out my trusty Ball Blue Book and it told me just what I needed to know. My mom got me this book from the Ball canning company a few years ago and it’s a no-nonsense guide to canning, freezing, and dehydrating. It’s a great resource and the info is straight forward. You don’t have to read a chapter on canning… it just tells you what you need to know.
Here’s how to freeze asparagus according to the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (this is an affiliate link, my very first one (!). That means if you click on it, it takes you to Amazon and if you buy it then I get a percentage of the sale. I’m going to try this out a bit on things that I already own and use. Hey, if I like it and use, recommend it, and you buy it, I’d love to get a little bit from it! Thanks for the support but no pressure…)
1. Select young and slender asparagus (think no larger than a pencil if you can!). If your asparagus varies widely in size then sort them into groups according to how thick they are.
2. Cut the tough ends off. (You can tell how far to cut by holding one spear up and bending it near the bottom until the woody end snaps off. Use that woody end as a guide on how much to cut off of the rest. I tend to cut around 2 inches off the bottom.)
3. Wash in cold clean water
4. Working in batches place the asparagus in boiling water. Blanch small spears for 1 1/2 minutes, medium spears for 2 minutes, and large spears for 3 minutes.
5. Place the blanched asparagus in a bowl of ice water.
6. Drain water and place the amount you’d like in freezer bags. (I put a little over a pound in each freezer bag. That is a good amount for one meal for my family). I also chopped some of the blanched and cooled asparagus into one inch pieces before putting it in the bags. I’ll used the chopped asparagus in stir-fry and pasta dishes.
7. Label and date your bags and freeze. You’re done!
To use this you can steam, boil, or stir-fry the frozen asparagus until heated through and as tender as you like them.
And if you need some ideas as to what you can do with all that asparagus here are two of my favorite recipes:
This is a pasta, cream, bacon, and pea dish, but I switched the peas out for asparagus and it was super good! This is one of our favorite meals and we make it a few times a month.
Mmm. Now you are all set to enjoy Spring’s bounty throughout the coming months.
Thanks so much for reading.