(I love a good pun. Get it? Asparagus tips? I know. I’m hilarious.)
Asparagus is in season. It’s a favorite veggie of the Johnson household. Most things you’ll read say to use asapargus the day you buy it. It doesn’t have a long shelf life once it’s been cut and shipped however far to your grocer’s produce section. You’ll find it on sale this time of year, so you might be tempted to stock up and buy a few bunches. More than you might be able to use in one day.
When you get home, pull the bunch out of the plastic sack and cut off the ends. It’s the same when you buy fresh flowers. You want to cut off the dried up ends so water can get into the stalks and keep them fresh.
|Top: dried up ends, Bottom: cut and ready for water|
Notice that in most stores, you’ll find the asparagus sitting in a shallow pool of water or on dampened towels. Asparagus likes moisture and will stay fresher longer if you recreate that at home. I simply trim off the ends and place each bunch in its own glass jar with water.
When you’re ready to cook it, simply rinse it off and snap off the tough ends. Then prepare them for the recipe; keeping them long or cutting into pieces.
Also do this for herbs. I have honestly kept herbs for weeks in my fridge in a bit of water in a jar. Replace the water when it looks a little cloudy and take out any loose leaves that have fallen into the water. This especially works for parsley, basil, and cilantro. Don’t rinse the leaves first, even though some herb bunches are pretty sandy. Just make sure to rinse and dry them before using in a recipe. Cover lightly with plastic wrap if you want. I leave mine out in the open and haven’t had any problems.