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How to Store Asparagus (+ a spring pasta recipe)



It’s officially asparagus season! While we’re lucky enough to rescue asparagus year round, you can expect to see bundles of green spears more frequently in the spring months, as April and May are peak growing season for this vegetable (which is actually a member of the lily family). We love asparagus because it’s so simple to prep and can be enjoyed in lots of ways, including roasted, sautéed, or grilled. Asparagus is best enjoyed within 1 to 2 days of delivery, but we have a simple trick for extending its shelf life. Read on for our simple tips for storing fresh asparagus for up to 5 days. Plus, check out the seasonally-inspired recipe for Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Spring Vegetables below!



Asparagus Nutrition

Asparagus is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables around. It packs 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per cup, plus contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and folate, and the mineral potassium. Asparagus contains the antioxidant glutathione, a compound that can help to offset oxidative stress in the body and that may reduce cancer risk, particularly breast, colon, and lung cancers, reduce inflammation, and fight aging. The folate in asparagus may support brain health, reducing cognitive decline as we age.



How to Store Asparagus

If you plan to cook asparagus within 1 to 2 days of receiving it, you can wrap it loosely in damp paper towels and store it in your fridge’s vegetable drawer.


To extend the fridge life of asparagus up to 5 days, follow these steps.


Step 1: Do not rinse the asparagus. Keep the spears bound in a rubber band and cut an inch off the bottom.


Step 2: Fill a wide mouth glass jar with 1 inch of water. Place the spears in the jar cut-side down, like you would fresh flowers.


Step 3: Cover the asparagus loosely with a plastic bag.


Step 4: Store the loosely wrapped jar in the front of the fridge for up to 5 days. Replace the water if it starts to look cloudy. Rinse asparagus right before you plan to cook with it.



Watch How to Store Asparagus


Recipe: Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Spring Vegetables



Active time: 20 Min.

Total time: 40 Min.

Servings: 4


Ingredients:

1 bunch Perfectly Imperfect asparagus

1 Perfectly Imperfect yellow squash or zucchini

1 Perfectly Imperfect bell pepper

1 Perfectly Imperfect carrot

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Cracked black pepper

8 ounces chickpea pasta (like Banza), 1 cup pasta water reserved

4 ounce goat cheese log, at room temperature

⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon Perfectly Imperfect lemon zest

1-2 tablespoons Perfectly Imperfect lemon juice

½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs, like a mix of parsley and chives



Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray.


Trim the asparagus and chop into 1-inch pieces. Quarter the squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Chop the bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Peel the carrot and cut into ¼-inch coins.


Toss the vegetables with the olive oil on the sheet pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until asparagus are fork tender.


Bring a pot of generously salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve a cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta well and set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and the goat cheese (crumbled). Once smooth, stir in the parmesan, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Add a few grinds of cracked black pepper. Add the pasta and roasted vegetables to the bowl and toss gently to combine. Fold in the herbs. Check for seasoning and add additional salt and/or lemon juice to taste. Serve topped with extra parmesan cheese.



By Carolyn Hodges, MS, RDN



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