To Boil Asparagus

20 to 25 minutes.


With a sharp knife scrape the stems of the asparagus lightly but very clean, from within one to two inches of the green tender points; throw them into cold water as they are done, and when all are ready, tie them in bunches of equal size, cut the large ends evenly, that the asparagus may be all of the same length, and put it into plenty of boiling water prepared by the directions. Cut a round of bread quite half an inch thick, and after having pared off the crust, toast it a delicate brown on both sides. When the stalks of the asparagus are tender, lift it out directly, or it will lose both its colour and its flavour, and will also be liable to break; dip the toast quickly into the water in which it was boiled, and dish the vegetable upon it, with the points meeting in the centre. Send rich melted butter to table with it. In France, a small quantity of vinegar is stirred into the sauce before it is served; and many persons like the addition. Asparagus may be preserved for a day or two sufficiently fresh for use, by keeping the stalks immersed in an inch-depth of cold water; but it is never so good as when dressed directly it is cut, or within a few hours after.

Obs.—Abroad, boiled asparagus is very frequently served cold, and eaten with oil and vinegar, or a sauce Mayonnaise.