Asparagus is a great source of nutrition. It is low in carbs, does not contain fat and is high in dietary fiber. It is good source of vitamins and minerals. This power vegetable has been used a food and medicine since Egyptian times and was popular with the Greeks and Romans. The asparagus harvesting period is short and the fresh produce is in high demand, thus commanding a premium price.
Asparagus is one of the difficult to cook right. Your asparagus dish can go from raw to mush within minutes and the perfect timing is difficult to get right. Sous-vide will help you to get perfectly cooked asparagus every time as the temperature and cooking time is precisely controlled. Here you will find how to sous-vide asparagus and some delicious toppings and recipes you could use for your perfectly sous-vide asparagus.
How to Prepare Asparagus for Sous-Vide
When choosing asparagus for sous-vide, always select tender but plump asparagus. To test for freshness ensure that the petals on top are tightly closed and green. Opened flowers and brownish petals indicate that the asparagus is not fresh.
The lower part of the asparagus spears are tough and woody. These should be removed before cooking. To do this you need to hold the spears with the tip in one hand and the woody end at the other and snap each spear. The spear will snap at the natural breaking point. The woody portion is discarded or used peeled in soups.
For a nice finish on your asparagus, you can peel a layer off with a vegetable peeler from the bottom portion of the spears. Wash the prepared asparagus well in running water to get rid of any dirt or grit as asparagus is a ground crop.
You will need a one gallon capacity sous-vide bag and sealer, some butter or oil if you want to give more flavor or you may skip this for a healthier option. You will also need some salt and pepper to season the sous-vide asparagus and your favorite sous-vide set up.
Asparagus is cooked at a higher temperature than most other dishes given here. So preheat your sous-vide to180 degrees Fahrenheit for plump asparagus.
Lay your asparagus in a single layer in the cooking pouch. It is good to place a spoon or two in the pouch to prevent the asparagus from floating.
Now you can add the butter or oil if using. You do not need to spread it as it will melt anyway during cooking. Seal the pouch and place in the preheated sous-vide cooker. Set the timer for 10 minutes for plump asparagus and around 07 minutes for skinny ones. You will have perfectly cooked asparagus at the end, which you can season with your favorite salt.
Toppings for Sous-Vide Asparagus
Sous-vide asparagus is good on its own, but topping it with something delicious will make it really shine. The simplest topping for asparagus is its own cooking liquid, especially if it contains butter or oil.
If you add some mashed garlic while cooking the asparagus, and top it with cooking liquid and Parmesan shavings you can have Chef Carey Copeling’s Sous-Vide Garlic Parmesan.
Another perfect topping for sous-vide asparagus would be a sous-vide poached egg. The rich luscious egg yolk goes really well with the freshness of tender asparagus spears cooked to perfection. This accompanied by a sous-vide steak can make a healthy and delicious meal by itself.
Asparagus sous-vide with butter can also be topped with julienne mint or your favorite herb or a vinegarette and chopped hard-boiled egg for a light meal accompanied by some crusty bread or as a side for meat of fish.
How to Make a Meal with Sous-Vide Asparagus
Sous-vide asparagus can make a light meal as a salad or a main when combined with a protein. However, you should take care not to overpower the fresh flavor of asparagus by using too many contrasting flavors. The key to a good asparagus main is to keep it simple.
Steak and Asparagus
Steak and asparagus is one of the most popular mains using asparagus. Steak sous-vide seasoned with garlic, salt and rosemary, and seared in a pan with some butter or olive oil combined with sous-vide asparagus and topped with a bit of juice from the sous-vide steak makes a healthy and delicious entree for an elegant luncheon or dinner.
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp and Asparagus
Lemon garlic shrimp and asparagus is another popular entree. Here is my healthy take on this favorite, using sous-vide asparagus. Sous-vide asparagus in the usual manner.
Heat some butter in a pan and add peeled and deveined shrimps (fresh or at room temperature) to the pan together with a bit of minced garlic, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for not more than three minutes for medium shrimp turning the shrimp once to cook both sides. Take care not to overcook the shrimp.
Add the asparagus to the pan and combine. Add lemon juice to taste and take off the heat. Serve immediately.
Asparagus and Cheese Omelet
Asparagus and Cheese Omelet is a non- meat dish for vegetarians who don’t mid eating eggs. This is my take on the classic using sous-vide asparagus. Beat eggs in a bowl until combined but not frothy. Chop sous-vide asparagus into bite sized chunks. Grate a quick melting cheese of your choice.
Melt butter in a fry pan and add the eggs lifting edges so that the liquid eggs spread and cook evenly. Top half of the omelet with chopped asparagus and cheese. Season to taste and serve immediately with a salad of your choice and some wholemeal bread for a delicious meal.
Sous-Vide Asparagus Side Dishes
Asparagus makes an ideal side dish for meat and seafood dishes due to its refreshing taste and texture. Asparagus with tomato, Feta cheese dressed with a Balsamic Vinegarette makes an ideal side for any Mediterranean meal.
A similar salad combining sous-vide asparagus, halved strawberries, flaked almonds, crumbled goat’s cheese, pea shoots and baby spinach dressed with a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper also makes an excellent side for any meat of chicken entree.
Sous-vide asparagus with creamy mushroom sauce is another favorite side which would go well with grilled meat or chicken.
I hope you found out how to sous-vide asparagus here, while also getting to know how to use the sous-vide asparagus in delicious mains and side dishes. If you tried out any of the recipes, please let me know on how it turned out by leaving a comment below. Good luck sous-videing asparagus!