TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Asparagus & 20 Recipes
In the U.S., asparagus is a spring vegetable. When you see it in other seasons, it is imported from abroad.
California asparagus is bursting onto the market. Low in calories—just three calories per medium spear—it is full of nutrients and contains no fat or cholesterol.
Asparagus is versatile to serve with about anything:
Here’s the history of asparagus.
Our friends at Good Eggs, a gourmet grocer in the San Francisco Bay area, point out that different widths of asparagus work best with particular recipes.
Boiled Asparagus: Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then gently tip in your prepped asparagus. Boil for 2 minutes or until the asparagus are bright green and al dente. Take them out and lay it in a single layer to cool. Top with chopped hard boiled eggs and herbs for a light lunch, or puree with a little green garlic for a simple pasta sauce.
Grilled Asparagus: Asparagus will slip through the grill if you don’t use a vegetable basket or skewers. We actually like the skewer technique, which creates a rack of asparagus. Simply skewer four or five medium or thick asparagus together, brush with olive oil, season to taste, and cook on a hot, preheated grill Preheat grill for high heat for 2-3 minutes per side (depending on thickness), or to desired tenderness.
Before you add the oil, however, use the ice bath technique described above. When the asparagus come off the grill, they’ll be moist and crisp.
Raw Asparagus: After trimming, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin below the spear. We like to slice it thinly on an angle to create ovals, to add to salads and grain bowls, but you can also peel it into delicious ribbons. Reserve the tips of the asparagus and mix them in with the rest!
Roasted Asparagus: Heat the oven to 400°. Toss prepped asparagus on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a glug of olive oil and a large pinch of salt and roast for 5 minutes or so—until crisped at the tips and slightly browned.
Steamed Asparagus: Simply steamed fresh asparagus at peak flavor is so delicious, we find it needs no embellishment—no salt, balsamic drizzle, butter, lemon juice or other seasoning beyond a pinch of salt. It requires just a quick visit to the vegetable steamer (or microwave) to be ready to eat. (Note: While some people love it, we think that a vertical asparagus steamer is a waste of space.)
But if you do have a bottle of balsamic glaze or balsamic cream, bring it out!
Enjoy asparagus every meal of the day!