Find out how to store fresh asparagus properly.
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asparagus on a tray

From Cauliflower Gnocchi with Asparagus & Pesto to Potato, Asparagus & Mushroom Hash, asparagus is a healthy, colorful vegetable that can be added to any meal. It's packed with plenty of antioxidants and nutrients, including fiber and folate. Read on for how to store fresh asparagus properly, whether it's from the farmers' market or grocery store. Plus, learn what to look for when buying the spring vegetable.

How to Store Asparagus

Asparagus is best when used immediately after you bring it home. However, if you can't enjoy it on the day of purchase, asparagus can be stored in the fridge. Here's how to store asparagus:

  1. Remove any rubber band or string from the asparagus bunch. Cut the woody, fibrous bottoms off the asparagus spears. (Alternatively, you can snap off the bottom as the spear will bend at its breaking point.)
  2. Place the asparagus upright in a large jar or glass with an inch of water at the bottom.
  3. Cover the tops loosely with damp paper towels, plastic wrap or a plastic bag, then refrigerate.

When you're ready to enjoy, learn how to cook asparagus, and recipes like Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus and Ham & Asparagus Quiche will be just the beginning.

How Long Does Asparagus Last?

When stored this way, asparagus will last for up to three days. Make sure that there is enough water in the container for the asparagus to stay hydrated. If the asparagus bottoms look dried out, simply cut off the dried-out portion before cooking.

How to Tell If Asparagus Is Bad

There are a few things to look for if you're trying to tell if asparagus has gone bad. First, check the appearance. If the asparagus looks limp and is slumping over in the jar, that's a sign it's beginning to spoil (fresh asparagus should stand straight). Another thing to look at is the texture. Asparagus should be firm and crisp, so if your spears appear mushy or soft, it's best to toss them. Additionally, if the asparagus smells off, that's another indication of spoilage. Finally, be sure to check the tips of the asparagus. The buds should be tightly closed and dry, so any bruises, darkened or slimy spots are indication the asparagus has gone bad.

By Lisa Kingsley and Alex Loh