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TIP OF THE DAY: Asparagus Season & Recipes

The classic French preparation: asparagus
with hollandaise sauce. Photo courtesy
California Asparagus Commission.


Asparagus has been popular since ancient times. The spring vegetable was cultivated by the Egyptians, appearing on a frieze dating to 3000 B.C.E.

The Greeks and Romans liked asparagus so much that they dried it to enjoy after the short asparagus season (April-June) ended. The oldest surviving cookbook, De Re Coquinaria by Apicius, has a recipe for cooking asparagus. France’s King Louis XIV built special greenhouses to grow asparagus.

Louis XIV (1638-1715) no doubt enjoyed his asparagus in what is now known as French style: with Hollandaise sauce, a rich sauce made from butter and eggs. In 1651, the great French chef François Pierre de La Varenne (1618-1678) published a recipe for Asparagus in Fragrant Sauce (Hollandaise) in his cookbook, Le Cuisine François.

Asparagus is one of our favorite vegetables: delicious, delicate flavor and only 20 calories per 5.3 ounces, or 4 calories per spear. It’s low in sodium, has no fat or cholesterol and is a good source of fiber, potassium and other vitamins and minerals.


You don’t need a special asparagus pot; a regular steamer does just fine. Enjoy asparagus:

  • Steamed as a side: served plain or with melted butter, flavored mayonnaise, olive oil, vinaigrette and/or Parmesan cheese (try this recipe for Asparagus With Grapefruit Vinaigrette).
  • Oven roasted, with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper—and an optional topping of fresh-grated Parmesan.
  • In omelets and frittatas (recipes for asparagus frittata and asparagus scramble).
  • On a vegetable sandwich with roasted red peppers and other favorite vegetables.
  • In pasta, tossed with olive oil and garlic (try this Linguine With Asparagus & Parma Ham recipe).
  • Puréed into asparagus soup.
  • Added to salads (try a spinach and bacon salad, with feta or goat cheese).
  • As an hors d’oeuvre, with a prosciutto wrap; or try this recipe for asparagus crostini.
  • Pickled asparagus for snacking and garnishing (get it from Tillen Farms).

    The history of asparagus, shopping tips, cooking basics and 11 asparagus recipes.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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