How to Store Asparagus

Keep those spears in top shape.

April 14, 2020

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asparagus on wooden surface

asparagus spears

asparagus on wooden surface

Photo by: Diana Taliun / Getty Images

Diana Taliun / Getty Images

By Susan Choung for Food Network Kitchen

Is it even spring if you don't have asparagus? Like robins and daffodils, the apple-green spears standing tall at the market herald the arrival of the season. And, boy, are they a sight for kale-weary eyes.

The earliest harvest has pencil-thin stalks that become more plump and meaty as the months go on. Try to buy asparagus from a vendor that keeps the bundles standing upright in water so they can absorb moisture up to the top. Look for firm stalks with smooth skin. The tips should be tight buds tinged the color of lavender flowers. Avoid asparagus that has dry, woody or cracked bottoms, which are inedibly tough.

Asparagus tastes best when cooked the day you buy it. If that's not in the cards, store them as you would store cut flowers: Trim the bottoms and stand the spears up in a glass or jar with about an inch of water. Cover with a plastic bag then refrigerate them for up to 4 days. Change the water as it gets cloudy to keep the asparagus perky and fresh.

If you just can't spare the room in the fridge, wrap the asparagus in wet paper towels instead. Cover it with a plastic bag before refrigerating.

When you're ready to cook these elegant spring beauties, try one of the recipes below:

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