Intro

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It’s here! Bu da da dom!

Asparagus is the trumpet fanfare that precedes the progression of late Spring and Summer’s bounty. I welcome the tall and slender stalks with open arms and a hot grill.

With so many ways to prepare the brilliant green spears …

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Crostini  with Asparagus Cream and Smoked Pancetta

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Five Ways with Asparagus

Raw Asparagus Salad

Illustrated Asparagus

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…¬† It’s hard to know which way to choose. Really, you can’t go wrong. Lately, I have been using this method with perfect results. (watch the video)

The interior retains a fresh crunch while the exterior has a touch of caramelized sweetness from the kiss of a very hot grill.

I finish the asparagus with a splash of a basic homemade vinaigrette or a squeeze of fresh lemon and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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Basic Vinaigrette

1 tbl. dijon mustard

1 tbl. minced shallot

1 tsp. honey

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a jar or container with a tight fitting lid and shake, shake, shake. Or combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl. Stir. While whisking slowly drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified.

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No matter which way you choose to prepare your asparagus you will get the most enjoyment if the spears are freshly plucked from the earth (i.e. LOCAL!!) Look for smooth bright green stems. Avoid the wrinkled and bent variety – they’re old and don’t pack the fresh earthy and grassy flavor that comes with just picked asparagus.

To remove the woody part of the stalk gently bend the spear and let it break where it wants to. And whatever you do do not be a fool like me and throw away the ends! Save them for asparagus stock which can be used for soups or risotto.

What is your favorite way to prepare asparagus?

 

7 Responses to “Asparagus 101”

  1. sevedra

    I snap off the woody end, toss the stalks with a little olive oil and then arrange them on a baking dish. Sprinkle them with some garlic, oregano, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes. Then roast them in the oven, leaving them still a little firm. When I take them out, I add a sprinkling of grated parmesan and they are ready to eat!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      You should never apologize for the sexiness of asparagus. With its slender stalks and glossy sheen all drizzled in oil who can resist that.
      Thanks for the photo compliments. It’s easy when the models are so lovely.

      Reply
  2. kellypea

    Beautiful photography! Actually, my favorite way to enjoy it is nearly as you’ve described: briefly par-boiled, then either grilled or broiled with a light vinaigrette of garlic, lemon, and olive oil. It’s truly a favorite. Of course, raw works, too.

    Reply
  3. The Prudent Homemaker

    I grow asparagus is my kitchen garden. Sometimes, a few stalks will grow bent right from the very beginning. They never straighten out. They taste just as good.

    My husband thought he didn’t care for asparagus. Since we have had a decent amount this year of it from our garden, he has learned that fresh asapargus is delicious. Our favorite way to have it is roate with olive oil and garlic. I roasted some yesterday morning for breakfast (there were only three stalks ripe that day, so I had the asparagus!) and had them in my crepes. (The children had pear butter in theirs).

    Reply

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