Vegetable Preparation – Peel and Cut Asparagus

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 37,081
    Chef Robert Nassar from Dinner Done demonstrates how to peel and cut asparagus.

    Robert Nasser

    Robert Nasser is the owner of Dinner Done's Centreville, VA store. Robert has been involved in the kitchen in one form or another from age 6. A past owner of 2 restaurants in Venezuela, he knows what good food is made of: great ingredients and great recipes. Concern for the way our eating habits are changing, especially since more and more households are extremely busy places, played a big part in his decision to license a Dinner Done store in Virginia from his brother and sister in law in Florida. Filling the need for healthy meals, while getting families back around the dinner table is a major reason for Dinner Done's success. His international background and love of travel have given Robert a unique perspective on foods and ingredients, and how best to marry them to obtain new tastes and flavors. When coming up with new recipes for his customers, Robert can draw upon this experience to enable them to try new ideas without sacrificing taste or nutrition. A self confessed recipe book addict, he has accumulated over 50 cookbooks in 3 languages. These rarely stay on a shelf, as he uses them almost daily!

    Hi! My name is Robert Nassar from Dinner Done in Centerville, Virginia. Were talking about basic vegetable prep. Today were going to focus on asparagus, how to peel it and cut it. A little bit about asparagus first. When youre at the store shopping for asparagus look first thing to make sure that the bottoms are wet. If you see any dry, means that the asparagus is probably been sitting around for a while and theyre not going to be as firm and is nice and you want them. Take a look at the tips and make sure that the leaves are on there firmly. If they are a little bit of purplish in color, thats just fine. Now, what youre going to need for this is a knife, a cutting board with a towel underneath, so that it doesnt slip around on you and a simple peeler. Heres how we start. Take your asparagus and cut the first, inch to inch and a half of the bottom. This part of the asparagus is really hard and woody and you really dont want to eat it. You can also take the entire bunch if you want and carefully, cut through those bottoms. Discard the bottoms as were not going to need these anymore. At this point you have a choice, if the dish that youre making calls for just using the tips and some of them do, take about another inch to two inches from the top and keep those tips apart theyre generally the most tender part of the asparagus. The stalks were going to save for later if you need to you could make say, a cream of the asparagus, or asparagus soup, or just include them in any kind of a vegetable soup. You can also cut these a whole bunch of the time if youd like. Grasp them firmly and together like so with you fingers and gently bring pressure to bear with the knife and thats it, its that simple. Now, we come to peeling them. You dont really need to peel the tops. They are tender enough as it is. But, if youre going to use the stalks for a soup or something else this is where your handy-dandy potato peeler comes in. What were looking to do is to take these leaves off because these can be a little bit harder than the ones at the top. With a very careful motion you use your peeler away from you, never towards you, away from you and just lightly take off those little leaves and thats it, thats all you need to do to peel and cut an asparagus.