Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 290 - Grilled Asparagus (frozen)

First off, let’s be honest.  This frozen grilled asparagus is NOT like fresh asparagus.  It does not taste as good as asparagus you buy in the produce section, wash, trim, and cook yourself.

But secondly, let’s be clear.  This asparagus is NOT as crappy as canned asparagus.  Growing up I actually liked canned asparagus.  I think it was sort of a treat in our house and I do not remember having it until I was older, but canned was the only asparagus I ever ate.  It came out of a tall, thin metal can and I thought it was expensive and exotic.  It was also, honest here, as mushy as all get out. 

When I became an “adult” (something I still don’t claim to be, though my birth certificate says otherwise) I thought canned asparagus was the way to go.  Then I met David, and he hated canned asparagus.  He introduced me to fresh asparagus and I loved it (though every once in a while I would still buy a can and snarf it down on my own…).  I have a dish that is one of my specialties – asparagus, brown butter, and capers.  It is amazing!

Reasonable price for a vegetable that is normally pretty expensive
 I saw this grilled asparagus in the TJ’s frozen section one night when I was shopping there alone and thought I would give it a try.  I had dinner ready when David came home from a late night of work and these spears were on the plate.  Here is what he thought:

“I like it.  It’s got crunch but it’s soft enough to cut with a fork.  It is flavorful, tasty.  In this case perhaps because we grilled it lightly (EDITOR’S NOTE:  “WE”????  We??  Ummm, YOU were at work when I made this meal…).   Ummm, and it is entirely NOT WOODY.  No part of the stalk have I encountered a kind of fibrousness to.  And I haven’t even gotten up to the tips yet - I presume those are gonna be even nicer!”

BAM – I PUNKED HIM!  He thought “we” grilled those!!!  Boy was he surprised when I told him they came in a bag, frozen, and I had just defrosted them in the microwave. 

The asparagus spears are quite pretty, eh?  I served them with grilled eggplant from our garden topped with TJ's feta
and a TJ's Chicken Balti Pie.
My opinion of these – they lost a bit of asparagus taste in the freezing process.  So they are not as delicious as fresh asparagus but they win hands down over canned asparagus.  If TJ’s carries these during the asparagus off-season they would definitely be something good to have in the freezer.  I agree that they were not woody.  They were a nice size and very “uniform”.  Fresh asparagus goes off really quickly in the fridge if you don’t cook it right away, so I think this frozen asparagus would be a good staple to keep in the freezer on nights when you haven’t gotten to the store to get a fresh veggie.  It would be the equivalent of the can of “emergency corn” I keep in the cupboard.  Overall, they are good but do not have the “vibrancy” of fresh.

David admitted I had totally fooled him and he would have never known they were not fresh if I hadn’t told him.  He did run into a bit of fiber (to be expected with this vegetable).

Price – $3.99
Rating - 3.75


  1. On Fresh Asparagus (vs.frozen" You opined, "Fresh asparagus goes off really quickly in the fridge if you don’t cook it right away. . ."

    NOT SO!!!! Cut a bit off the woody ends, and plunk them in a tall jar filled with a few inches of water. Plop a plastic bag over the top to keep the moisture in, and put them on the top shelf of the fridge where there is more head clearance. They will keep for more than a week -- perfectly snappin' fresh! :) Sorry this isn't asparagus season, but often they are a loss leader around Thanksgiving, so you might try this trick then!

    1. HOW did you get so darn SMART??? This sounds like a Hints from Heloise trick or something! It is definitely worth noting. I hate, hate, hate when we buy asparagus, then I forget it is in the fridge and it goes off. Next time we get it I am trying this trick. Thanks!
      - Susan