Asparagus is a delicate vegetable and a frequent guest in European cuisine. Most often it is steamed or lightly poached in a pan to serve as a side dish with lean meat or fish. In salads and sauces, you can replace it with broccoli or any vegetable with a delicate taste and consistency – cauliflower, sugar peas.
White and Green
There are two kinds of asparagus: white and green. The difference is that white asparagus grows underground, it doesn’t see sunlight, so it has that color, and its shoots are gentler than those of green asparagus that reach for the sun. But green asparagus is richer in vitamins. Although it is fair to say that both species are very useful. However, white asparagus is not very common in our country. Green asparagus is much more common.
Can I eat raw asparagus?
Raw asparagus rarely tastes good to anyone. It is too bitter and bright. That’s why asparagus is usually heat-treated.
The easiest way is to lightly fry these green sticks in a pan for about two minutes along with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.
Asparagus flavor, even after heat treatment, is not to everyone’s liking. So it’s worth considering decent asparagus substitutes with a similar texture and decent nutritional value. Here’s a list of the best analogs:
The best substitute for asparagus is broccoli. These products have no differences in preparation.
These products have no differences in preparation. This type of cabbage can also be fried in olive oil or steamed for 5-10 minutes. In addition, it retains a texture similar to the original after heat treatment.
This vegetable equivalent is good as a side dish to meat or fish, or as a filling for Italian pasta. Don’t forget the seasonings!
Celery stalks are another great substitute for asparagus. These flavorful green sticks are delicious both raw and cooked. They, too, can be steamed or roasted before use.
Celery cooks faster, so it won’t take more than 1-2 minutes to cook.
This asparagus equivalent pairs beautifully with tender meats and salmon, as well as cream cheese.
Leeks differ from asparagus in taste and texture, but this does not detract from their merits.
Because of its versatility in the kitchen, this vegetable works wonders. When cooked, it can be added to stews and soups, or used as a side dish (raw or poached in oil).
The leek stems fall apart easily when cooked, and you can only live with that. But rest assured: the taste of the finished dish will not suffer from this.
When cooked properly, green beans, this high-protein favorite of all vegans, can act as a stand-in for asparagus
It can be safely steamed, stewed, pan-fried in olive oil or grilled, and even baked. This legume crop goes well with garlic and other seasonings.
Salad leaves are the easiest and most digestible substitute for asparagus, requiring no cooking.
It’s a great side dish for a variety of meats and fish, an essential ingredient in a burger and many salads.
Combine with cucumbers, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Fresh young peas are similar to green beans in preparation and can also serve as a vegetable substitute for asparagus.
The most common way to prepare a side dish is to fry it in olive oil with garlic and onions. And it pairs perfectly with salmon and other types of fish.
It is also possible to steam, stew, and boil peas and then turn them into mashed peas.
Avocados are an excellent and delicate texture stand-in for asparagus in recipes that don’t require heat treatment. Just add chunks of this exotic to your salad or mashed potato with garlic and onions for a nutritious dipping sauce.
Not all peppers can replace asparagus in the diet. Green peppers can. They are juicy, crunchy, and have a similar hue to the original.
This equivalent is combined with other vegetables, as well as with meat and fish, both raw and lightly fried.
Useful properties of asparagus
Asparagus contains many healthful substances. For example, vitamins A, B, C, T, K, copper, manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium, carotene, coumarin, thiamine, folic acid. And this is not the whole list. Thanks to such a composition, asparagus energizes us, lifts our mood, removes the symptoms of vitamin deficiency.
It has a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels, regulates blood clotting, and prevents the formation of blood clots. And the carotene in asparagus prevents cancer.
Asparagus is especially loved by those who watch their weight because it is a low-calorie product.
Asparagus was considered in the Middle Ages as a love product and an aphrodisiac. It activates sexual energy, has a stimulating effect, has a beneficial effect on men’s health, in general, acting as a natural analog of Viagra. But asparagus is not only good for men. In India, it is called “shatavari”, which means “having a hundred husbands”. Asparagus normalizes hormonal metabolism, helps with infertility, and serves as a rejuvenating agent for women.
- When buying asparagus, pay attention to the length of the shoots. The tastiest ones are 15-16 cm long.
- Try to break the asparagus – the place where the stem breaks are just where the asparagus gets coarse. At this level, you need to trim the stem.
- A potato peeler is good for peeling asparagus.
- Green asparagus is peeled from the middle of the stem down, while white asparagus is only peeled under the top.
- Asparagus is blanched before use: it is boiled for about 5 minutes in boiling salted water.
- A common way to cook: tie the shoots into a bundle and stand in boiling water. This will cause the tops of the asparagus to stick out of the water a little and steam cook. This method helps asparagus cook evenly since the tender tops cook much faster than the thicker parts of the stem.
- Lemon juice added to the cooking water improves the flavor of the asparagus.
- When the asparagus is cooked, it should be lowered into cold water so it retains its color and is crispy.