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Need help learning how to cut asparagus? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered! I love asparagus! It’s a springtime favorite that is delicious and nutritious that can be added to a variety of dishes. You can grill it, boil it, and even bake it with cheese! In this post, I will teach you step-by-step how to trim your asparagus – so it’s always tender, never woody, and ready for any recipe.
WHY learn to cut asparagus properly
- Stalks will be more tender without the harder, denser ends.
- Great tasting veggies leave no bad taste memories with the vegetable resistant (i.e. children and less adventurous adults.)
- Cutting off the woody ends is more time efficient than shaving the ends of each stalk with a vegetable peeler.
how to wash asparagus
- Fill a bowl or rectangular baking dish with cold water and soak the asparagus for a few minutes. Rotate so the stalks and tips both get submerged.
- Rinse off. That should rid the stalks and tips of any unpleasant sandiness.
- Pat dry with a towel.
HOW TO cut asparagus – step by step
- Put about half the bunch of asparagus – of whatever amount fits comfortably – across a large cutting board. Line up the spears.
- With a long, sharp knife, cut off the tough woody parts at the bottom, usually one to two inches. To know how much to cut off the bottom of an asparagus stalk look for the place where the stalks turn from light green/white to a darker green. Cut the asparagus at that point where the color changes.
- Repeat with the remaing asparagus spears. Use immediately in recipes.
TIPS FOR cutting (OR TRIMMING) asparagus
- Use a very sharp knife. Always. A dull knife will leave you sawing through the fibers. No fun!
- Cut small pieces on the diagonal. If you are slicing asparagus in into small pieces, for a stir-fry or pasta dish, this type of cut brings out the best flavor.
- Use the color demarcation as your cutting guide. The whole bunch may not be uniform.
- Don’t toss the woody ends of the asparagus. Although they are more tough and woody, you can slice up these ends as thinly as possible, which will break up the fibers. Then you can use them stir fries or soups.
recipes with asparagus
- Panko Crusted Salmon with Asparagus
- Vegan Asparagus Soup
- Cheesy Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Easy Vegetable Frittata
- Grilled Asparagus
HOW TO STORE asparagus
- Fill a clean jar with about an inch of water. Stand the cut asparagus in the jar, stalk end pointing down.
- Cover with a plastic bag and place in the fridge. They will last up to four days.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It depends on the batch. Look for the color change on the stalk. If that is not apparent, do a test cut at about an inch up. If that doesn’t seem like enough, try moving up another half an inch.
Cutting off the woody ends of the stalk should give you a tender bunch of asparagus. If you feel your batch is very tough, peeling won’t hurt, but under normal circumstances, it is not necessary. The exception is white asparagus which always requires peeling.
Snapping is not recommended. While this method will get rid of the fibrous ends, it tends to also take a good chunk of the asparagus that you actually want to eat with it. If you’re going to try it, hold the asparagus firmly by each end and bend the ends toward you as if you are bending in half. It “should” snap apart where the woody bit meets the tender bit.
All asparagus benefits from a trim and the pencil-thin variety are no more tender than the thicker ones. The width of the stalk represents the age of the plant which produced it, with older plants making thicker stalks. The plants produce for several years.
Now that you know how to cut asparagus, you are ready for asparagus season! There are so many great ways to add this most spring-like of vegetables to your recipes.
MORE Vegetable cutting tutorials:
- How to Cut Potatoes
- How to Cut garlic
- How to Cut Brussel Sprouts
- How to Cut Butternut Squash
- How to Cut Cabbage
- How to Cut Leeks
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How to Cut Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus
- Fill a bowl with cold water and soak the asparagus for a few minutes. Remove the asparagus from the bowl and rinse off. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place half the asparagus on a large cutting board with the spears lined up. Using a large sharp knife, cut off the bottom tough woody parts, about 1-2 inches. You’ll notice the color turns from green to white and that’s the spot to make the cut.
- Repeat with the remaining asparagus spears. Use immediately in recipes as desired.
- If you have leftover cut asparagus, stand them up in a glass jar with about 1-inch of water. Then cover with a plastic bag for up to 4 days.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen