The Ideal Way To Clean Asparagus

When it comes to eating your veggies, asparagus is easy to cook with, and therefore one of the most versatile vegetables to incorporate into your next meal. Before you cook, however, you'll first want to ensure that you're starting with a clean slate — in this case, your asparagus stalks. From there, your asparagus cooking options are almost endless, ranging from a dry-char, sauté, roast, or stir-fry of these spring stems.

Whether you're purchasing your asparagus organic from a local market or a major grocery chain, we always recommend washing your produce for a little extra insurance that what you're cooking — and eating — is clean. The ideal way to clean asparagus requires only three easy steps, plus fresh water and a paper or dish towel for optimal results. Before you clean, you'll want to remove the thick bottom portion of the stem. Then it's a rinse for your asparagus bunch, a quick dry-off, and you're ready to cook. 

How to master the three-step clean

The first step in cleaning your asparagus is to remove the dense portion at the bottom of each stalk. This fibrous, woody area is often tough, chewy, and undesirable to eat, even when cooked. You can easily use your hands to snap off this portion, or cut it with a knife and then discard it. Next, give your spears a thorough shower. Either place your asparagus into a kitchen strainer and let it run under fresh water, or fill a bowl with clean water and give it a bath. Both options will work as long as you're submerging your stalks in the water long enough to remove any lingering debris or dirt that you wouldn't want to consume.

Finish cleaning your asparagus by drying the spears — or leaving them to air dry — on a dish or paper towel until you're ready to cook. While we always recommend that you wash your asparagus (or any produce) prior to use, you'll especially want to clean your asparagus before consuming it raw. Simple, easy, and efficient, this three-step process allows you to enjoy your asparagus with plenty of flavor and no added fuss, no matter how you ultimately prepare it.