Asparagus is now in season, don’t miss out make the most of this amazing vegetable.

The asparagus plant grows into a tall fernlike bush over a period of 9 months then coming into spring the growth is cut back, and then you wait. The fresh stems will sprout from the earth. And sprout they do, a single plant can produce multiple spears in a day and they can grow to full size in just 24 hours. Each shoot is harvested by hand to avoid damaging the immature buds that are getting ready to sprout.

As with all things that have a short season I like to preserve them to extend their life in my kitchen. Look for my pickled asparagus recipe next.

When choosing asparagus look for close compact tips and a bright green unblemished stem.

When cooking asparagus no one wants a mouthful of stringy asparagus, there’s nothing appealing about the woody base of this springtime stalks.

The easiest way to eliminate these woody stems is to break them off by bending them until they snap in two, this natural snap-off point is where the unpalatable toughness ends, and the tender asparagus begins.

If you snapped asparagus at the natural breaking point, you loose as much as 50 percent of the weight of each spear, and much of what was being tossed onto the compost pile was completely edible.

To reduce this waste, try cutting roughly an inch off the bottom of each spear, then used a vegetable peeler to trim away the stringy exterior of the base until you get to the tender center. This not only produced asparagus that looked prettier than the short, stubby spears, it saves on food waste.