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