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Personally, I find asparagus to be a criminally underrated vegetable. Fresh asparagus is delicious and is nowhere near as bad as some people say it is. While it may not be for everyone, if you cook it well, it can be an amazing side dish to whatever meal you plan on serving. If you want to learn how to cook canned asparagus then you have certainly come to the right place!
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What Is Asparagus?
Asparagus is a very well-known spear-shaped vegetable that is synonymous with the start of spring. It comes in purple, pink, and white yet the most iconic color it comes in is green with a white base. The garden asparagus ( the most common type of asparagus) is known for being one of the most well-rounded vegetables in terms of nutrition. It has very low sodium and is completely free of fat and cholesterol.
Asparagus is also packed with a lot of essential nutrients such as;
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Alongside the healthy nutrients inside asparagus, there is also an astonishing 13g of protein in a single cup of asparagus. Aside from how healthy asparagus is, it is also really tasty and super easy to cook with. It can be worked into almost any meal easily and without ruining or overwhelming the dish.
Which Is Better, Canned Or Fresh Asparagus?
While both options are completely valid, you might want to know which is the better choice for you. Fresh asparagus is easily the better option for taste and quality. It is nice and fresh so it can be roasted to a perfect golden color while holding a firm texture and being crunchy. Fresh asparagus also has a nicer taste as it is fresh and not at all ages. While canned asparagus has been preserved, the flavor is somewhat lost.
Despite fresh asparagus being the higher-quality choice, canned asparagus has its own merits that make it preferable. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be quite expensive, so canned alternatives are great for those with their finances in mind. Alongside this, canned asparagus also lasts a lot longer due to its extended shelf life. This means that canned asparagus is great for accessibility and people who do not have enough time or money to go out and buy fresh asparagus every time they need it.
When To Cook Asparagus
Before we discuss how to cook it, we should talk about when you should cook it. Asparagus is commonly paired with heavier meats such as steak, ham, and other strongly flavored foods. This is so the asparagus taste does not overwhelm the dish. Although, if you know how to cook it properly, that will not happen. You can continue to cook asparagus with strong foods, but it can also go very well with other dishes such as pasta, or fish.
Different Ways To Cook Asparagus
While a lot of people only think of roasting asparagus, there are loads of different ways to prepare and cook it depending on how you plan to use your asparagus. Whether you are cooking canned asparagus, fresh asparagus, or frozen asparagus, you will be able to follow along with no issues.
Oven-roasted asparagus takes a lot longer than the other alternatives, but it is very much worth it. It is arguably the best-canned asparagus recipe as it makes sure they do not stay mushy, and it also helps them become crunchy.
For the perfect oven-roasted asparagus, you will need a can of asparagus, drained and dried, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons grated cheese, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
To begin you will want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. While this is heating up, now is a good time to drain and dry your asparagus if you have not already. This can easily be done by using a sieve to separate the asparagus and water and then letting the asparagus sit on a few paper towels for a while. This is done to make sure the asparagus becomes crispy as it cooks, as it will be mushy if there is still lots of water in it. Canned asparagus usually has a mushy texture due to being saturated in brine or water.
In a large bowl, mix together your asparagus, sea salt, black pepper, cheese, and minced garlic. Once your spears have been coated in all of this, pour your olive oil on them and evenly coat all of them. After this, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so that they are not touching. If they are evenly spread, they will cook evenly too.
Allow this to bake for between 12-15 minutes, or until the asparagus becomes tender in the thickest parts but crispy on the edges. Before serving, make sure to drizzle a splash of lemon juice on them.
Making boiled asparagus is really easy and requires almost no prep time at all. All you need is a can of asparagus, sea salt, black pepper, butter, and water.
To boil your asparagus you will want to add 3-5 inches of water to a saucepan along with 2 teaspoons of salt. To make the cooking time even quicker, you can boil the water in a kettle first. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat.
Open and drain your canned asparagus and gently place them in your boiling water. Continue to cook this for an extra 5 minutes on medium heat. It is very easy to overcook the asparagus with this method so make sure to check them often and take them out when they are tender.
Sauteed asparagus, or pan-fried asparagus, is really simple to make and will taste amazing. For this, you will want some flakey sea salt, crushed black pepper, your favorite cooking oil, and some asparagus spears.
To begin, you will want to heat a saucepan over high heat and melt butter in it or pour some of your oil into it. Not so much that it fills the whole base of the pan. When the pan is hot, you will want to add your asparagus and keep moving them around so they evenly cook. Make sure to get them lightly coated in your oil too so that the flakey salt and pepper will stick to them. Once they have cooked enough to be slightly crunchy on the tips, you will want to add your salt and pepper to the pan and make sure to get your spears covered in them.
Once they are evenly covered in salt, pepper, and oil, you can serve them. This serves really well with a tiny splash of lemon juice added on top afterward.
Asparagus With Prosciutto And Parmesan Cheese
This is a somewhat complex recipe but it is very much worth it for how the asparagus turns out. The ingredients you will need are asparagus, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
You will want your canned asparagus spears to be drained and dried beforehand, or have your fresh asparagus washed and prepared by cutting the bottom inch off. Once your asparagus is prepared or drained, lay it on a paper towel to help soak up any excess moisture.
You will want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and get a baking sheet ready lined with parchment paper. While the oven preheats you will want to place two spears side by side and wrap them with prosciutto width-ways. Wrap them tightly so that they do not unravel. Do this as many times as you need to or want to, and once done place them on your baking sheet with a few centimeters between them. Ensure they are not overlapping as this will make them cook less evenly.
Before they go in the oven, drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese on them, as well as your salt and pepper. Bake them for 13-15 minutes, or until both the tips of the spears and the prosciutto are crispy.
This delicious recipe is so easy once you get the hang of it, and is almost addictive because of how tasty it is.
Is Canned Asparagus Worth Using?
Asparagus in general is underrated and underused, which needs to change. Asparagus is tasty, healthy, and can have a nice crunchy texture if cooked properly. Who can say no to that? Canned asparagus especially needs more recognition. It is very convenient and at a good price, and you can store it for ages in a cupboard or fridge until you need to use it. Fresh asparagus does taste better and have a better texture, yet it is also more expensive and needs to ideally be purchased on the day of use. That is a lot of hassle for someone who might be too busy to spontaneously plan their meals on the day.
If you have taken the time to consider any of these recipes, you may be wanting to find an excuse to cook them. Look no further than our 14 ideas of what to serve with asparagus!