A quick and traditional side dish is asparagus. Of course, it grows fresh and vibrantly in many farms and backyard gardens in the spring, when it is most plentiful. Asparagus spears standing tall at the market herald the start of the season like robins and daffodils.
You might be tempted to just put a big bunch of fresh asparagus you bought at the store or farmers market in one of the fridge’s drawers. However, the longer asparagus is left in the refrigerator, the more the ends will dry out, requiring more trimming and less eating.
So how can asparagus be stored to maintain its freshness longer? To make the most of this tasty vegetable, I’m going to demonstrate how to keep asparagus fresh in the fridge.
How Should I Store Asparagus Short-term?
The asparagus you just bought can be kept in the refrigerator with a damp wrap for moisture if you intend to cook it tonight or tomorrow. Here’s what to do as soon as you get home:
- Using a paper towel or tea towel, dampen it, then wring it primarily dry. It should still be damp but not dripping.
- The wet towel should be used to wrap the asparagus before putting it in a zip-top bag and storing it in the fridge.
- Place the asparagus bag in the crisper or vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Use within 24 hours.
If you don’t have enough space for the next method of standing asparagus storage, this is also a viable option.
How Should I Store Asparagus Long-Term?
Keep the spears in a glass with some water to keep them fresher for longer. To do so follow the below step-by-step guide:
- Trim the asparagus stalk ends with a sharp knife by an inch while the rubber band is still keeping the bunch together.
- Fill a deep Mason jar or drinking glass with one inch of water. The asparagus spears should be placed upright in the glass with the cut ends at the bottom after the rubber band has been removed.
- Make sure the spears have enough room for airflow by tenting them with a clean plastic bag and using a rubber band to secure them loosely.
- Put it in the fridge for up to five days, but make sure to replace the water if it appears cloudy.
Expert Storage Tips:
- Avoid the top shelf in the fridge: Avoid putting fresh asparagus on the top shelf of the refrigerator because some (older) refrigerators might freeze water there. The vegetable might also freeze as a result.
- Keep an eye on the water after 3 days: Make sure to alter it if it appears cloudy. While doing so, inspect the spears to ensure they are still in good shape and the asparagus does not smell bitter.
- Do your best not to overcrowd the glass jar: If you have a large bunch of asparagus (or several bunches), keep each one in its own glass or jar.
- These storage tips work for all types of asparagus: This includes thinner and thicker spears, as well as white and purple varieties.
Tips For Storing Fresh Asparagus In The Fridge
Once you get the asparagus in a jar, there are a few other things to keep in mind:
Keep it cool, not frozen
Fridges have cold spots where the temperature may drop almost to freezing; these areas are typically near the top shelf or where cold air is pumped into the appliance. Keep asparagus away from these areas. If the asparagus freezes, it will become mushy when thawed.
Change the water
As previously stated, you don’t want asparagus spears to waste away in muddy water. Get fresh water as soon as the liquid in the jar starts to appear cloudy. While you are holding the asparagus, keep an eye out for any changes in condition. They consist of blemishes on the stalks or falling buds. The asparagus is no longer edible if it has an unpleasant smell.
Keep the jar from being crowded
Allow space for the asparagus to breathe. Consider dividing a large bundle into two smaller bundles if you only have a small jar.
How Should Cooked Asparagus Be Stored?
You might have some leftover spears that you want to save for another meal now that you have managed to keep your raw asparagus fresh enough to cook. In an airtight container, store any leftover asparagus. Keep chilled for two to three days.
Even though leftover asparagus isn’t always as fresh-cooked asparagus in terms of color and crispness, it still tastes great. If you have a lot, think about chopping the asparagus and putting it in a quiche.
When Purchasing Asparagus, What Should You Look For?
Fresh asparagus must first be purchased before being cooked or served. Ideally, asparagus bundles in grocery stores are standing in water, just like you will when you get the vegetable home. But before you buy, inspect your bundle for the following traits:
- firm stems from end to tip
- vibrant apple green color, free of blemishes or dark spots
- tight buds (also called asparagus crowns)
- snappy, tight stems that don’t easily bend
- healthy, vibrant ends, instead of dry, woody bottoms
Is Refrigeration Required For Asparagus?
Yes, whether you’re storing it in a bag or a jar, asparagus needs to be refrigerated as soon as you get it home from the store. Otherwise, the stalks might quickly deteriorate and start to mold.
Should I Wash The Asparagus Before Putting It In The Refrigerator?
No, you should wash the asparagus right before cooking or preparing it. Washing it too soon might encourage moisture, which can result in molding.
White Asparagus: How Do You Know If It’s Bad?
Your asparagus will start to turn very dark green and become mushy to the touch if it is beginning to go bad.
Read More: How and When to Harvest Asparagus?