Asparagus, The Passing Of Winter
Asparagus is one of the first vegetables of spring! When you see the tender shoots start to poke up out of the ground sometime in April, you can count on 6 or 7 weeks of harvesting. One of the neat things about asparagus is that it is a perennial plant, so you can count on enjoying it every year.
Asparagus, of course, is at its best when eaten fresh and in season. You have probably noticed Asparagus, like so many other fruits and vegetables, can be bought in the store throughout the year. However, I, recently, had to go to two different stores before I found a healthy looking stack. Asparagus, the paint brush-looking vegetable, should have firm stalks and be green or greenish violet in color. The tips should be tightly closed. I think it is an elegant looking vegetable that has a unique flavor. In fact, I have been racking my brains trying to think of what I could compare the taste of it to and I can't come up with anything that even tastes similar. Asparagus is a very healthy vegetable, scoring high in folic acid, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
The Asparagus debate is usually over the size of the stalk. The question being, should the stalk be thick or thin? I always thought the young tender stalks where the best, certainly the most attractive to my eye, but research shows that many people believe a thicker stalk can have more flavor. I don't know. I pay more attention to the top of the plant being tight with healthy looking tips. One thing I know for sure, old asparagus is bitter.
Asparagus should be refrigerated immediately and used as soon as possible, preferably in 2 or 3 days. After washing, always wrap the bottom of the asparagus in a damp paper towel or stand the stalks up in jar with a swallow amount of water in the bottom. Before cooking, snap off the woody ends of stalk.
There are certainly a lot of dishes that you can use asparagus in, but it is also a tantalizing side dish. Asparagus can be prepared in many ways: steamed, stir fried, oven roasted, grilled, or pickled. My favorite way to prepare this savory vegetable is to oven roast it with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whatever method you decide to use, Asparagus should be cooked long enough to make it tender but not so long that it loses its crispness. I would err on the side of under cooking it. Cooking time will also depend on the thickness of the spears.
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My favorite way to prepare this savory vegetable is to oven roast it with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Whatever method you decide to use, Asparagus, should be cooked long enough to make it tender but not so long that it loses its crispness. I would err on the side of under cooking it. Cooking time will also depend on the thickness of the spears.
Serving size: 6
Calories per serving: 64
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.