Asparagus shoots are the perfect spring vegetable before they flower in the summer and become too woody to eat. The size of the asparagus really doesn’t matter or indicate flavor--smaller, thinner asparagus were simply plucked sooner than thicker asparagus.

To prepare, a neat trick is to snap off the end of one asparagus (perhaps the largest, woodiest one) as they naturally break right at the border between the tender, edible part, and the woody stem. Then, use that asparagus as a guide for trimming the rest.

Asparagus has so much natural texture and flavor as is that simple preparations like steamed or roasted with just salt, or jazzed up with a little lemon and parmesan are best. They also pair well with fatty foods, like wrapped in bacon or served with hollandaise sauce. We prefer them to only be cooked for 5-10 minutes (with the florets being cooked for the shortest amount of time possible) for perfect al dente spears or roast for longer to have crispy french fry style spears.



Sheppard Farms

Cedarville, NJ

Spanning over 1500 acres and with a rich history reaching back over 300 years, Sheppard Farms supplies New York and New Jersey with fresh asparagus, lettuce, cucumbers and more. In the 1600s the Sheppard family moved to New Jersey and began a small vegetable farm. While their operation has moved, grown and incorporated new technologies in the ensuing centuries, some things have remained the same; the farm is still run with love and care by the Sheppard family, and their commitment to providing the local area with fresh, healthy food is as strong as ever. Testimony from local restaurants that fill their menus with Sheppard produce, as well as an award from the New Jersey Food Bank for “providing essential fresh produce and inspiring healthy and positive lifestyles for our neighbors in need” demonstrate just how vital Sheppard Farms has become to shoppers and chefs alike.

Place asparagus root side down in a glass jar with an inch or two of water and cover tops loosely with a bag. Store in the fridge for up to a week.