The plant is a perennial, grown from rhizomes that form crowns. In New Orleans, asparagus planted in spring probably won’t survive the hot summer. So autumn is the only time of year to plant asparagus in the South.
Prep and Store
Large spears of asparagus can have tough skins. Use a veggie peeler to remove them. It grows in sandy areas, so it’s important to wash it thoroughly before eating. The tips cook faster than the stalks so cook stalks standing up in water with the tips slightly above the water.
You can shave it, blanch it, grill it, pickle it, and even eat it raw. No matter how you decide to prepare your asparagus, keep cooking times short. Also, if you don’t wrap it in bacon or drench it in hollandaise sauce, it’s low in calories — about 4 calories per spear.
For centuries, people have included asparagus in their Easter dinners because its fast growth in the spring symbolizes resurrection and it just tastes so dang good.