Basic Technique 5

Preparing and Cooking Asparagus

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Buy firm, crisp asparagus. Remove the woody base by cutting 2–3 cm off the spear depending on the length. Peel the outer skin from just under the tip down to the base using a swivel peeler and discard the skin. Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for 1–1½ minutes until tender, depending on the thickness of the asparagus – check with the tip of a knife. If not serving the asparagus immediately, refresh in iced water to stop the cooking process and drain. Place on a clean kitchen cloth and refrigerate until ready to use.