Asparagus has one of the highest nutritional contents of any vegetable. Very low in carbohydrates and calories, it is ideal for diets. An active amino acid in asparagus, asparagine, gives it a diuretic effect; it has a high water content, minerals and vitamins B and C.
White asparagus is cultivated in northern Greece, particularly in the Evros region, and exported mainly to Germany.
Asparagus – the magic taste of the cuisine of Evros
In June 2005, in collaboration with the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region, the municipalities of Vyssa and Trigono organised the 1st Asparagus Festival which was held at Syntagma Metro Station. The festival’s objective was to inform the public of the first class asparagus grown in Evros. It was a great opportunity to learn about its nutritional value and how turn it into a tasty meal. The event had more than 2000 visitors who tried Vangelis Driskas’ delicious recipes served on an enormous buffet table and were given a leaflet with the chef’s recipes.
Tips on picking and cooking asparagus
- When shopping asparagus, choose those who have firm stalks with tightly closed buds at the tip and vivid colour.
- Store asparagus in refrigerator in a glass with an inch of water like you treat flowers. Cook asparagus within two days because they tend to loose sweetness and become bitter.
- To prepare asparagus for cooking, cut stalk about 1 inch from the end where it starts to get tough and stringy. Use these fibrous ends for meat stock or vegetable soups. If the asparagus is thick-skinned or fibrous, peel the spears with potato peeler.
- Boiling, steaming and roasting is great for asparagus.
- To boil asparagus: put them in a pot with 2 liters of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of salt carefully so that their buds while not be broken. Cook asparagus for 5-6 minutes and serve them according to recipe.
- To steam asparagus, lay the spears in a single layer in a steaming rack over water, cover the pot, and cook until just tender.
- To grill asparagus, brush it with olive oil, and grill it over medium-low heat, for 8-10 minutes. When grilled, salt it lightly and serve with lemon and olive oil sauce.
- To roast asparagus, spread the spears on a baking sheet, lightly brush them with olive oil, and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Delicious recipes with asparagus:
Have a look at the leaflet with the chef’s recipes: