Spring is a month away but if you think that I haven't attempted to cook with the sad stalks of asparagus that are available in grocery stores right now, you are mistaken. Sure, they do the job for a quick roasted side dish, especially when sprinkled with crunchy, cheesy breadcrumbs. But asparagus soup, crostatas, vegetable frittatas, and spring-forward pasta recipeswill have to wait until a robin gently taps me on the shoulder and says, "it's time."
Whether there's still snow on the ground in your area or you can finally step outside with just a light jean jacket, you should treasure these precious green stalks. If you're buying asparagus, take care of it properly. The best way to store fresh asparagus is like a bouquet of tulips: aka upright in a glass jar with an inch of water. This will prevent the asparagus tips from getting mushy and smelly, while maintaining the stalk's bright green color. Plus, a large mason jar or tall drinking glass will help to accommodate the towering stalks so that they can stay fresh for days. "Even better, trim the bottom one inch from the bottom before sticking them in a vase in your fridge," says Food52 community member Alyssa.
In general, fresh asparagus should be refrigerated but with this method, you don't have to do so. "If you keep them upright in water, as in previous answer you really don't need to refrigerate them. It's fine to keep them on the counter for a few days this way," writes user pierino.
Once they're standing tall and proud, loosely cover the asparagus with a plastic bag and store the jar in the fridge (again not a must, but this is our preferred method). Just make sure not to wrap them too tightly (ditch tying the bag with a constrictive ribber band!) because the tops need air circulation; otherwise, they'll turn mushy within a day or two, thus ruining the stalks that we've all waited so long to purchase.