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Should asparagus really be cooked in bunches?


Should asparagus really be cooked in bunches?
You'll probably read recipes here and there explaining how to cook asparagus "en botte", i.e. in a small package (the famous "botte").

Is this really the right way to cook asparagus?
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Last modified on: May 22th 2024

Keywords for this post:AsparagusCookingTipBundleLegend
Should asparagus really be cooked in bunches?
"Botte" cooking
This is a method familiar to all professional cooks when cooking asparagus: peel the asparagus, tie it together with string or a rubber band to form a small bundle, the "botte", and plunge it into boiling salted water.

asperges en botte

Check for doneness by pricking one of the asparagus spears with the tip of a knife, and if it's easily pierced, the asparagus is done.
Remove the bundle from the water, drain and cut the string.

Is this a good method?
This method seems like a good idea, but it's not. In practice, doing it this way leads to problems with cooking levels.
  • Bunching the asparagus increases the overall cooking time, with the asparagus around the edges cooking faster than the asparagus in the middle, which takes longer.
  • This difference in cooking time means that some asparagus (again, those in the middle) may be overcooked, while those in the middle may be undercooked.
  • If you want to check doneness with the tip of a knife, it's almost impossible with the asparagus in the center, unless you go through the asparagus in the middle.
In short, you'll have understood that this is not a good method, and that it's much better to cook your asparagus the traditional way , in a large pot of boiling salted water, like any other vegetable.

asperges en cuisson classique asperges cuites

It's quicker and more effective.

To sum up: don't cook your asparagus in bunches, as they won't cook as evenly as conventional asparagus.

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