Ingredient: Asparagus


» Jump to recipes using Asparagus as an ingredient

Asparagus-

  • Description

Asparagus is a perennial, spring vegetable.  It grows in spears.

  • Preparation

The stems of the asparagus will naturally snap to remove the woody bottoms.  Asparagus can be grilled, roasted, steamed, blanched etc.  Some people like to peel the outer layers of their asparagus, but it is not necessary.  Be careful not to overcook, they will become stringy and/or mushy.

  • Varieties

Green- the most common variety

White- a field blanched version on the green variety

Purple- very tender and sweet, but loses its purple color when cooked

  • Storage-

When you get your asparagus home, cut the bottoms just a tiny bit (1/4 to 1/2 inch) before placing upright in a glass of water, just covering the base of the stalks with about 1/2 inch or so.  Treat them like a flower, keeping them on the countertop for up to a few days. 

  • Nutrition

Vitamin C, A, K, thiamin, folate, iron, fiber

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There’s nothing quite like fresh asparagus in the springtime. Aside from some tunnel spinach, it’s essentially the first crop that wakes up from the winter doldrums and makes you realize that the Summer CSA is just around the corner.  The crunch, the taste, the fact that it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, what’s there not to like?

Fresh asparagus from the farm is a real treat, as you can just munch on and enjoy it raw as it’s so tender and sweet.

imageWhen prepping your stalks for consumption you’ll want to “trim” the ends.  I find the best way to do this is just to bend the bottom part of the stalk until it snaps.  

imageWherever the snap of the natural breaking point occurs, is where the tough fibrous end begins.  

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Save the snapped off woody stems for an amazing stock.

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When I have asparagus around, I usually can’t help but drape a runny-yolked egg on top.  Roasting them at 400 with a little drizzle of olive oil, a favorite method of consumption. Another classic preparation is blanching your asparagus. Take a few spears of the fresh asparagus and put them into already  boiling water, just for a short period of time (1 minute or so) and then quickly transferring them into a bowl with ice and cold water.  imageThis process, called blanching, both locks in the flavor and crispness as well as preserves the vibrant green color.

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Recipes Using Asparagus

Beef Fried Rice a la Chest Freezer CSA Goodies

This is a VERY flexible rice, today made with chest freezer ingredients including peas, asparagus and pepper. If fresh herbs are available, try basil or cilantro. Just about any CSA veggie can make an appearance here. Don’t have a wok? No worries, a skillet works, too. Make it your own and enjoy!


Asparagus and Potato “Cake”

This was the result of a creative moment, but I have no regrets about the way it turned out! Potatoes and/or sweet potatoes provide the starchy middle that keeps things together, and the asparagus provides the springy gimmick. The rest of the ingredients are pretty flexible, so make it your own and have fun!


Grill it!

Toss sweet potatoes or other veggies with olive oil before grilling, to prevent them from sticking to the grate. Season your veggies with whatever flavors you feel like, experiment!


Spring Veggie Pizza

Grab a ball of pizza dough and get ready for deliciousness! This pizza skips the tomato sauce and with the freshly ground sausage, mozzarella and spring veggies, you won’t miss it! When the dark green of the spring veggies is in your kitchen, you need to try this one!


Sunday Dinner – Burrata with Roasted Spring Veggies

Burrata is a great centerpiece appetizer It’s unusual texture just screams “spread me on a crispy baguette please”. Toss roasted veggies of your choice on top with some freshly ground black pepper or finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice, and WOW!


Spring Veggie Quiche

Prepare a pie crust, fill it with springtime goodness, and you’re off to the races with this flexible recipe. Mozzarella House cheeses go great with the springtime veggies in this dish, not to mention the cheese and garlic sausage.


Spring Tart or Tartine with Fresh Herbs

Got asparagus? Or arugula? Or spinach? Or any combination of these? This is a very flexible recipe, if you use puff pastry, you’ll make a tart. If you instead broil up a buttered slice of bread and you’ll make a tartine. The rest is simply eggs, and herbs of choice. Use your imagination and enjoy this quick and simple meal option!