The faster you freeze fresh vegetables and fruits, the better it will affect them, because so the products will be able to preserve all the beneficial properties, shape and color. And in the case of asparagus, every minute is expensive - the longer the freshly picked asparagus lies in the refrigerator, the worse it will affect its appearance and taste.
Therefore, as soon as you buy or harvest asparagus, try to freeze or cook it as soon as possible.
Fresh asparagus should be resilient (in no case lethargic), bright and juicy. And to check the degree of its freshness, rub the stem against the stem - a characteristic creak should sound, as if you were running your finger on clean glass.
Rinse the asparagus under water, trying to pay attention to each stalk, so as not to miss areas contaminated with sand or other dirt.
Strip the asparagus with a peeler or knife, especially at the base of the stem, where it thickens (this is where the skin is coarser and needs to be removed).
When washing and peeling a vegetable, lay separately all sluggish stems separately. The fact is that such a languid asparagus after defrosting will be too soft and will not work for some dishes. But in the soup or cream of asparagus - just right, because the vegetable in such dishes is cooked and even crushed by a blender into a homogeneous mass, and elasticity is not so important.
Also, during cleaning, sort the asparagus in length. There are dishes in which long asparagus looks spectacular, and for salads or cakes the length of the asparagus stalks does not matter - they still have to be cut.
Also, take care beforehand about enough ice cubes. Ice is needed for instant cooling of asparagus after blanching.
Prepare a pot and boil water in it. In parallel, draw cold water into a deep bowl or pan.
Dip the asparagus stalks in boiling water for 2 minutes.
At this time, add ice cubes to the prepared cold water, after the allotted time, transfer the blanched asparagus here.
I blanched my asparagus in three sets. Firstly, I had a lot of it, and secondly, I separately blanched long, short and sluggish stems, so as not to confuse them in the mass.
Blanching and instant cooling of asparagus in ice water is an obligatory step in freezing such a vegetable. Without blanching, the asparagus will turn black in the freezer and lose some of its taste and aesthetic qualities, and without instant cooling, the asparagus stalks will not be so green and can be digested.
Spread a towel, a clean tablecloth, or cover the kitchen table with paper towels. Spread asparagus on the fabric to remove excess fluid.
Prepare a place for asparagus in the refrigerator. Clean the bottom of the drawer to place bags of asparagus on it. This must be done so that the freezing process takes place as quickly as possible, and also to protect the asparagus from impacts and breaks during storage. The fact is that frozen asparagus stalks become fragile, and if you put a bag of vegetables on an uneven surface, there is a risk of breaking the asparagus.
I do this: I lay out packages with asparagus at the bottom of the box, and on top I put packages with frozen peas , green beans or packets of frozen grated carrots or beets .
But there is one more trick. To preserve asparagus stalks in the freezer for sure, freeze the asparagus in foam trays, tightly wrapping them with cling film.
So, when the asparagus has dried well, it can be packaged in packages, forming a suitable weight (for example, 200-300 g). Let the air out of the bag as much as possible (by inserting a beverage tube in the bag and stretching it out with your mouth, driving your fingers out of the bag or in another convenient way).
Indicate on the label the product that you are freezing, the date of freezing, the weight, as well as the category of dishes for which it is suitable (for example, WHOLE STEM - baked asparagus , fried asparagus ; SHORT STEM - salads, stew; SUSPENDED Asparagus - mashed soup, cream, sauce).
Tightly closed and packed bags and trays with asparagus put on the bottom of the drawer of the freezer and store for up to 10 months at minus 18 and below degrees.
In order to defrost asparagus, it is enough to remove it from the freezer in advance, transfer it to the refrigerator and wait until the stems are fully or partially thawed (depending on what dishes you are defrosting).
Properly frozen asparagus should not change color, lose its taste and its beneficial properties. Crispy, like fresh, it will no longer be, but dishes from frozen asparagus undoubtedly turn out to be tasty and mouth-watering.