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Wondering what goes with asparagus? Learn the best ingredient pairings, meal ideas, popular flavor combinations, and other helpful tips.
Knowing what goes well with asparagus gives you a starting point for putting meals together using the ingredients you already have on hand.
Whether you want to reduce food waste, get more creative in the kitchen, or improve your cooking skills, it starts with understanding what flavors already pair well together.
What is Asparagus?
Asparagus, also known as garden asparagus, is a spring vegetable with long, pointy spears and a hard woody stem near the bottom. Unlike most vegetables that need to be planted each season, asparagus is a perennial. This means it grows back year after year, which is why people hunt for wild asparagus.
Green asparagus is by far the most commonly found variety, but white and purple asparagus also exist. The taste varies depending on the season and variety, but it generally has an earthy flavor similar to broccoli, broccoletti, or green beans.
When to Buy
Asparagus is in season from March through June. Look at the seasonal produce guide to see what's in season right now.
What to Look For
Look for asparagus that has compact heads and freshly cut ends. The color should be as bright as possible as this indicates tenderness.
How to Store
Asparagus tastes best the day you buy it. If that's not possible though, store it similarly to how you'd store flowers or fresh herbs. Trim about an inch off the bottoms and stand the spears up in a glass jar with an inch or two of water and cover with a plastic or reusable silicone bag.
Change the water as needed if it gets cloudy to keep the spears fresh. It'll keep fresh in the fridge for about 4 days this way. To freeze, blanch it first then transfer to a freezer-safe container.
What Goes Well With Asparagus?
Artichokes, beets, carrots, fava beans, garlic, ginger, leeks, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, ramps, scallions, shallots, spinach, and turnips.
Lemons, limes, oranges, and tomatoes.
Bay leaf, black and white pepper, caraway seeds, cayenne, saffron, sesame seeds, kosher and sea salt.
Basil, chives, dill, flat-leaf parsley, sage, tarragon, and thyme.
Nuts & Seeds
Almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
Butter: unsalted and brown, parmesan cheese, almond ricotta, cream: use coconut cream or cashew cream for dairy-free, hollandaise sauce, sour cream, and yogurt.
Anchovies, crab, eggs, ham, lobster, oysters, pancetta, prosciutto, salmon, and shrimp.
Breadcrumbs, capers, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, pasta, rice, soy sauce, chicken and vegetable broth, vinaigrettes, vinegar (esp. champagne, red wine, sherry, white wine), and dry white wine.
Popular Asparagus Pairings
- shrimp + ham + capers
- lime + cayenne
- shallots + mushrooms + garlic + chives + parsley
- crab + mushrooms + ramps
- garlic + ginger + sesame
- garlic + onions + potatoes + leeks
- goat cheese + thyme
- ham + mushrooms + parmesan cheese
- lemon + olive oil + black pepper
- eggs + parmesan cheese
- pancetta + parmesan + vinaigrette
What To Make With Asparagus
Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be blanched, boiled, fried, grilled, roasted, steamed, simmered, or stir-fried.
Add it to dishes such as vegetable frittatas, risotto, a savory tart or galette, a bowl of pasta, sushi burritos, or a warm roasted potato and asparagus salad (the roasted garlic vinaigrette is divine).
You can also make quick-pickled asparagus, a creamy dairy-free asparagus soup using cashew cream, or grill it with butter, salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and crushed crispy prosciutto sprinkled on top.
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