When you want to steam asparagus, but not cut the stems down to the size of your steamer basket, stand them up!
Just wash and trim the asparagus and then bundle them together with a little folded strip of tin-foil. Next, add the minimum liquid required by your pressure cooker and twist the two ends – tips and stems – lightly in opposite directions to get them to fan out and create a larger base. Then, just lower the asparagus into the pressure cooker and go!
Pressure cook thick asparagus for 1 or 2 minutes at high pressure and release the pressure immediately – for more al dente asparagus use low pressure.
Leave a comment, below!
Great idea for those with bigger pots. I’m guessing you need a 6.5l pot for this, correct? Because the width of my 4.5l pot is actually greater than its height, so I would have to cut even more off the ends to get this to work.
I’ve been experimenting with preparing white asparagus in the steamer basket. What I’ve found so far: 2 lbs is about the maximum load, given a 4.5l pot; lower pressure seems to work better than high (a bit more leeway – I hate mushy asparagus!), and one needs to be careful de-pressurizing. Recently, I had two pots going simultaneously. When depressurizing my older pot (sliding controls), my dingers slipped and I pushed the control down in one go. It shot the asparagus heads right to hell – they looked completely destroyed. Ack! (Better luck next time, I hope.)
It sounds like you found the system that works for you!
I used a 6L in the photo. Yes, this tip is for those who have a tall, narrow stockpot-type pressure cookers.
If you have a very wide pressure braiser then you won’t need to do any hijinks to get your asparagus to fit. So, another reason to get a braiser – full sized roasts and no asparagus aluminum foil origami!
Re very wide pressure braisers: I know – I’ve been eyeing the Kuhn-Rikun. (There is a YouTube video in which Australian Suzanne Gibbs uses one to prepare chicken legs, and she is able to fit four in at the same time! I couldn’t do that with my 22 cm pot…)
But it comes with a hefty price tag, and I can’t quite justify it.
Annette, I also have a video risotto recipe where you can actually see the 22cm and 28cm pots together.
I’m anxiously awaiting a sample from a Spanish manufacturer for a pressure cooker that is 25cm wide. It’s not budget, but it’s not Kuhn Rikon, either. I can’t wait to try it and see how it compares to the 28cm Kuhn Rikon!
The world needs more pressure braisers!
What a good idea! I might try this method with asparagus. :-)
I’ve been wondering lately if it’s possible to use high pressure (15 psi) for 1 – 3 minutes for most vegetables (except potatoes and others which would take much longer)? I like my vegetables soft – but not too soft as in overcooked.
Yes, cutting the time sounds like a great idea. I generally pressure cook most of my veggies for 5 min at high pressure (except for winter squash, potatoes and asparagus) but that’s probably softer than what you’d like. Definitely try shorter time, or even lower pressure.
Right now I have a small loaf of bread going in the bread-maker, and the electric pressure cooker delayed to steam zucchini for 5 minutes at noon. Add a fresh mozzarella ball and plenty of olive oil and salt and that’s lunch!!
What a shame I have to wait around 7 months for asparagus to come back in season.
Even Wal-Mart sells fresh asparagus year ’round. A lot of fresh veggies come from Peru during our winter months.
This makes the best asparagus I’ve ever eaten. Crisp from top to bottom. I love the foil trick. I have an expanding steamer basket that has a handle in the middle. I just arrange the asparagus around the handle and wrap the foil around the bunch and go.
Great tip! I just bought a new flower style basket with a removeable, telescoping center stem, and it has nice legs on which to stand clear of the water beneath it. (Progressive brand, at Wal-Mart) If I just close the basket petals around the asparagus stalks it should hold them just fine. I’ll definitely try that!
what is the purpose of the foil? and hubby and I both like our asparagus soft — how long would you suggest for that?