Awesome Asparagus

Asparagus, a Food of the Week alum is beautiful earthy green and among the first glimpse of  spring seasonal veggies.  Green asparagus is common, whereas white and purple are more ‘exotic’ or less common varieties. 

 Photo by Stephanie Studer on Unsplash

Photo by Stephanie Studer on Unsplash

Asparagus Prep, Storage And Considerations:

Fresh asparagus will break at its natural place where the tender vegetable and woody more fibrous stalk begin when you gently give it a bend.  Then soak for five minutes or so in a white vinegar and water solution.  Rinse and soak in pure water, then drain but don’t completely dry.  No need to put in water since the dampness will keep it nice and crisp in an airtight container. 

Growing an asparagus bed is easy and will offer years of bounty.   Requires a loamy spot offering 4-6 hours of daily sunshine.   The bed will begin to produce stalks after the first year.  Until you develop your own asparagus bed, this veggie is plentiful in most of North American grocery stores in the springtime. 

Asparagus may make your urine smell ‘surlfury’.  It doesn’t reflect a danger from eating the food. 

Nutrition high points:  A very high source of folate, vitamins K, B1, B2 and B6,  Good source of copper, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and choline.  Asparagus is also a good source of fiber, zinc, protein and carotenoids. 

Tam’s Favorite Asparagus Recipes

An un-recipe for asparagus is to enjoy it raw.  It works well in lunch boxes and makes a good snack while preparing dinner. 

1.  Blanch it.  In just 3 minutes in a steamer basket your asparagus is ready.  Rinse it in very cold water or dunk it in ice water and drain to stop the cooking.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil or untoasted sesame oil and sprinkle of sesame seeds.

2.  Grill it.  Over a medium hot lightly oiled grill lightly baste it in walnut oil and sprinkle with herbs like thyme, oregano, cilantro, or other favorite veggie grilling combo.  Keep an eye on it so the grill marks don’t become profound or burn marks, turning with tongs for a few minutes until done.

3.  Baked Asparagus.  Recipe on my blog with cheesy white sauce and sliced hard boiled eggs.  Satisfying perfection.

4.  Asparagus Soup.  Perfect for cool spring weather, with chicken and rice and the magic union of carrot, onion and celery.

5.  Asparagus Roll-ups.  Blanch (see #1) the asparagus spears.  Lay out a thin slice of ham.  Place a red pepper strip cut about the width of the asparagus spear and the asparagus spear in the center, rolls up and secure with a toothpick.  Heat the roll up to warm in a cast iron skillet and serve immediately.  This is a great recipe to make ahead for breakfast.  Sneaking in veggies at breakfast is worth bonus points that look like amazing morning energy. 

6.  Salads.  Load your spring salad with radish, snow peas, spinach, arugula and a little feta or goat cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice, a dash of sea salt and twist of pepper. 

Developing a repertoire of fresh healthy seasonal veggies is paramount for a nutritionally complete food life.  Check in with the featured Food of the Week often for tasty ideas to make eating right and living well easy and delicious.