Asparagus is the ultimate spring vegetable, and it would be a shame to eat it only for Easter: it is good for your health and comes in a multitude of recipes.
Spring is the ideal time to savor freshly picked white asparagus, but also green asparagus, through a thousand and one recipes, each more delicious than the next. But did you know that you can reap the benefits of asparagus after spring has passed? All you have to do is freeze them, like other fruits and vegetables, to cook them as you wish with a sauce, pasta or mousse.
It is indeed quite possible to freeze asparagus, green or white., but they must be whitewashed beforehand. Blanching asparagus before freezing preserves its flavor, color, nutrients, and texture – so you don’t taste blackened, tasteless, and mushy asparagus. In addition, bleaching them will remove residue and bacteria, while giving them a beautiful color. The best is therefore to cook them in boiling water. Depending on how you want to prepare the next, you can blanch the fresh asparagus whole or cut it into pieces. Boil water in a large Dutch oven with a teaspoon of salt. While waiting for the water to boil, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Dip the asparagus in the boiling water and cook from 2 minutes for fine asparagus to 4 minutes for larger diameter asparagus. Remove them from the pot and immerse them in ice water to stop cooking. Drain them and pat them on absorbent paper.
Once the asparagus is blanched and well dried, to prevent the stems from sticking together during freezing, place them on a large platter or baking sheet, keeping them from touching each other, and put in the freezer for 1:30 to 2 hours. At the end of this time, you can take the asparagus out of your freezer and put them in bags or boxes on which you will have written the date of freezing, before storing them in your freezer. By “pre-freezing” the asparagus individually, you will only get out the amount you need when you want to cook them, as they will not be stuck together in the freezer box or bag. Once frozen, you can store asparagus in your freezer for up to three to seven months.
Can you freeze uncooked asparagus?
It is quite possible, however, to freeze asparagus without having blanched them first. For this, it is preferable to use large caliber and white asparagus, collected the same day, either in your garden or directly from a producer. This is the sine qua nonso as not to have the impression, once thawed and cooked, of eating asparagus that has just come out of an industrial tin … The ideal method of freezing is then to place the cleaned asparagus in plastic mineral water bottles whose neck you will have cut. Put the asparagus heads up, fill the bottles with cold water and freeze straight up in your freezer. If you have a freezer with drawers and not a chest, arrange the asparagus lying down in freezer boxes, cover with water and freeze that way. When you want to prepare them, thaw them first.
What is the cooking time for frozen asparagus?
Whether or not you have blanched your asparagus before freezing, for their cooking to be perfect, it is best not to cook them for too long once they are thawed. Depending on the cooking method you prefer, you must adapt the cooking time of frozen asparagus:
- Cooking in a pot of boiling water: 8 to 10 minutes maximum depending on the diameter and size of the asparagus.
- Cooking in a pan: 3 to 5 minutes.
- Cooking in a Pressure cooker: 2 to 3 minutes.
By limiting the cooking time, you will preserve their taste and their melting and crunchy texture.