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Produce Spotlight: Asparagus


Pick of the Crop:

Choose firm, fresh asparagus with compact tips and smooth stems. Both thin and thick spears can be tender. Spears grow either thin or thick from the ground and don’t get thicker with age. Store asparagus in the refrigerator with the cut ends wrapped in damp paper towels. Trim the spears before cooking by bending the stalks until they snap. They naturally break where the spears start to get tough. Cook only until the spears are bright green and still somewhat firm.


Visit Massachusetts Locally grown featuring recipes for fruits and vegetables grown in Massachusetts and found at most local farmers’ markets.

Fun Facts:

  • Asparagus comes in many colors – green, white, and purple. White and green asparagus come from the same plant. If it’s covered with soil as it grows, it stays white. But if it grows in the sun, it turns green.
  • A stalk of asparagus can grow as much as ten inches in one day!
  • Asparagus is a member of the lily family, along with onions and garlic.
  • Asparagus spears grow out of crowns buried in sandy soil. The spears are ready to eat only a few weeks a year.
  • So enjoy this fresh, spring treat while you can!

More Matters! Fruit and Veggie Tips for Kids:

Try roasted asparagus! Toss spears in olive oil and minced garlic. Then spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast uncovered in a 450° F oven for 12 minutes, turning the spears once or twice as they cook. If you like, sprinkle the roasted spears with balsamic vinaigrette.

Top whole-wheat crackers with chopped asparagus (either raw or cooked). Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and microwave just until the cheese melts.

A Super Snack Idea:

Place 3 or 4 asparagus spears and some cheese on a flour tortilla. Roll it up, and enjoy!

Veggie Humor:

Question: What did the hippie farmer say to the asparagus crop?

Answer: This is the dawning of the age of asparagus.