So I have a crazy question for you... Have you ever had trouble feeding your kids sauteed asparagus? I warned you it was crazy! What if I promised to show you how to saute asparagus that your kids will actually eat?
Well, read on my friend...
Even my kids, who actually like specific parts of asparagus, cringe when I mention asparagus for dinner (they always forget that the like it until they try it again...smh).
But lets be real. Even some adults have a hard time eating it. I'm convinced it stems from a past event when it wasn't prepared correctly.
My first experience with asparagus was canned...yuck!
What Part of Asparagus Do You Eat?
It's funny...the top of the asparagus can taste different from the bottom. I have 2 kids, one likes the tops and one like the bottoms. It works out well because I just cut off the tops and separate them accordingly.
But do this enough, and you will start to go crazy! After a while I couldn't stand cutting the tops off ever spear and I started cutting the entire piece of asparagus into bite sized pieces.
That's when we started using a line that we stole from Preschool "You get what you get and you don't get upset!"
That worked until they were about 6 and then just the line itself made them upset. But at least it got us through dinner for a few years! #smallwins
Can I Eat Raw Asparagus?
Go ahead and try it! Just joking, don't do it! I may not be able to convince you to try this recipe if you do.
For the record, it tastes disgusting raw. It is hard and fibrous and tastes like a weed. But don't worry, because it is one of those vegetables that are healthier once cooked. Which means there is no reason to choke it down raw.
You can read more about the health benefits of asparagus HERE
Cooking asparagus enhances it's antioxidant properties. Important for preventing diseases like cancer.
Do You Have to Peel Asparagus Before Cooking?
Absolutely not. The only thing you need to do before cooking asparagus is to cut off the bottom of the stalk.
There are chefs who will tell you to bend the asparagus stem and let it naturally snap towards the bottom. This is how I was taught too.
But I have found that you waste a lot of the asparagus by doing this. It is much more efficient to line the bunch up and cut about 3 inches off the bottom. Discard the bottoms.
Once you discard the bottoms, you can start chopping the asparagus or just cook the stalks. Try roasting asparagus in your oven. Preheat the oven to 400°, add olive oil and salt and pepper and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Easy and delicious! But not necessarily kid friendly
How Do You Know When Asparagus is Done Cooking?
The best way to tell that asparagus is done cooking is to poke it with a fork. It should also be a bright green. If it is tender (basically, if you can poke it) it is done.
Under cooked asparagus will be difficult to poke with a fork.
The trick to feeding kids anything is to make it fun. Fun can come in the form of small, bite sized pieces of food. It also makes it a perfect side dish!
In this case, I cut the asparagus on a diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces. Cutting on a diagonal also increases the surface area of the most tender part of the asparagus and makes it easier to eat.
Next, I heated a small amount of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. I added the asparagus and salt and pepper. Then saute for 3 minutes.
Once the asparagus is tender, put it in a serving dish, squeeze the juice of 1/4 lemon over the asparagus and top with lemon zest and fresh parsley.
That's it! It sounds fancy but everyone likes this recipe, including the kids...and the dog! Now give it a try and sit back as your family tries it without complaining!
Try serving Asparagus with these dishes:
Easy Sauteed Asparagus
Easy sauteed asparagus that your family will actually eat!
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Bunch Asparagus
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Chopped
- 1/4 Lemon Juiced
- Lemon Zest Optional
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Cut the ends off the asparagus and discard the stems
Cut the asparagus on a diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces
Heat Olive Oil in a saute pan over medium high heat
Add the asparagus and salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, or until tender
Remove from heat.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus. Top with fresh parsley and lemon zest
Serve and Enjoy!