asparagus arancini

Ontario Asparagus: Tips for Freezing, Storing and Great Recipes

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asparagus arancini

As spring awakens, so does the bounty of Ontario’s local produce, including the beloved Ontario asparagus. Bursting with flavor and nutrition, this incredible, versatile vegetable is a staple in many households including mine!! Today, we’ll do a deep dive into the nutritional benefits of Ontario asparagus, share essential tips on storing and freezing them, and explore some mouthwatering recipes that highlight their freshness and flavor.

ontario asparagus
Ontario Asparagus: Tips for Freezing, Storing and Great Recipes

Nutritional Value of Ontario Asparagus

Ontario asparagus isn’t just a tasty addition to your meals; it’s also packed with essential nutrients. Low in calories and high in fiber, asparagus is a nutritious choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet. Additionally, it’s a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, potassium, and chromium. These nutrients play crucial roles in supporting overall health, from promoting healthy digestion to boosting immune function and supporting bone health.

Storing Ontario Asparagus

To maximize the freshness and flavor of Ontario asparagus, proper storage is key. Here are some tips to keep your asparagus fresh for longer:

  1. Trim the Ends: Upon bringing your Ontario asparagus home, trim about an inch off the ends to remove any dry or tough parts.
  2. Refrigerate: Place the trimmed asparagus upright in a jar or glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the tops loosely with a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator. This method helps maintain moisture and keeps the asparagus crisp.
  3. Use Them Promptly: Asparagus is best enjoyed when fresh. Aim to consume it within 2-3 days for optimal flavor and texture.

Freezing Ontario Asparagus:

If you find yourself with an abundance of Ontario asparagus, freezing them is a great way to preserve their freshness for later use. Follow these simple steps to freeze Ontario asparagus:

  1. Blanching: Start by blanching the asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then immediately transfer them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.
  2. Dry Thoroughly: Pat the blanched asparagus dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  3. Portion and Freeze: Divide the asparagus into portions based on your preferences. Place the portions in airtight freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  4. Label and Date: Don’t forget to label the bags or containers with the date of freezing to ensure you use them within the recommended timeframe.

**If you have any other questions about Onatrio asparagus, please read up here at Asparagus Growers of Ontario – always a wealth of knowledge for me!!!

Now that you know how to store and freeze asparagus let’s explore some delightful recipes that showcase their freshness and flavor:

  1. Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan: Marinate asparagus spears in olive oil, lemon juice, and minced garlic, then grill them until tender. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving for a burst of savory goodness.
  2. Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto: Add chopped asparagus and mushrooms to your favorite risotto recipe for a hearty and flavorful dish. Finish with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil for an extra touch of luxury.
  3. Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart: Spread a layer of creamy goat cheese onto a pre-baked pastry crust, then arrange blanched Ontario asparagus spears on top. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the asparagus is tender, then garnish with fresh herbs for a stunning appetizer or light lunch option.
  4. Fresh Asparagus and Pea Soup with Ricotta and Smashed Pea and Mint Crostini: This amazing soup is the best combo of all things spring and, honestly, one of my fave ways of using asparagus!!
  5. Asparagus Arancini: If you’ve had regular arancini, you’re going to love these!
  6. Bacon Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus Cigars: These delicious morsels will be the talk at your next party!!
  7. Penne with Bacon, Asparagus and Bocconcini: This is the easiest pasta dish ever and the most delicious!!

Ontario asparagus is not only a delicious addition to your meals but also a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential vitamins and minerals. By following proper storage and freezing techniques, you can enjoy the freshness of Ontario asparagus throughout the year. Whether grilled, roasted, or incorporated into savory dishes, Ontario asparagus adds a burst of flavor and nutrients to any recipe. So, embrace the abundance of local produce and savor the goodness of Ontario asparagus in your next culinary creation.