Kitchen Confidence

How to De-Grit Asparagus

By • June 12, 2013 • 1 Comment

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Never let asparagus grit ruin your day again.

Spotting the first bunch of asparagus at the market is much like seeing the first robin of the season: both are sure signs that warm weather is well on its way, and that there are only more good things to follow. 

However, the sandy grit that sometimes clings to particularly-fresh asparagus -- especially asparagus from a local greenmarket -- is something we could do without. There's nothing like realizing your pasta or salad has the same downfall so often associated with ocean-side picnics (except with no beach in sight). We have two methods to ensure that your asparagus will remain dirt-free, and they couldn't be simpler.

The shave: Grab a vegetable peeler, and use it to slice off the little leaves that run along the spears -- a place where grit can so easily hide. This method has the added benefit of removing the toughest layer of the vegetable, which is especially helpful among older spears. 

The dip: If you have younger, skinnier spears -- or just don't feel like peeling them -- simply bring a pot of water to a boil, dip your asparagus in until the small leaves are wilted, and then rinse the spears in cool water.

Do you have any tricks for getting rid of asparagus grit? Let us know in the comments! 

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Tags: kitchen confidence, asparagus, grit, cleaning, how-to & diy

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about 1 year ago Rachel

Growing up in a place with tons of local asparagus, the way we always prepared them was to hold each spear between two hands and bend it until it snapped, then to put the top halves in shallow vessel of warm water (not to hot, don't want anything to cook) and let them sit for five minutes. Then lift out the asparagus (lifting is important--the grit sinks to the bottom), rinse the container, and repeat. If they seemed particularly sandy before any preparation, the rinse and lift can be repeated a third time. If you disregard the snapping step, this works really well for sandy leeks too.