Asparagus reigns as a favourite
It sounds like the name of a Roman ruler, and for a while it dominates like one in our gardens and fridges too. I’m talking about asparagus, of course, which may show earlier and oftener this spring. As those who grow it know, you can be picking every day as the weather warms up, and we’ve had many fine days already.
I may be a little ahead of things with asparagus recipes in an early-April paper, but not long from now you’ll be looking for ways to use it, as a nice note from Lois Sloane in Clearwater reminded me recently.
Her family is already watching for the first asparagus to appear, she writes. They have a small patch that supplies many people. Lois also sent the accompanying photo of her grandson, Brad, who, after happily helping pick a bunch asked, “Now, what do we do with it?” Here’s a few recipes for young Mr. Sloane and all others who’ll soon be enjoying this delicious spring vegetable.
Garlic Honey Asparagus
- 2 tbsp. peanut oil 1-1/2 tsp. honey1-1/2 tsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. garlic, minced1 lb. asparagus, rinsed and trimmed Red onion, chopped (for garnish)
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add honey, soy sauce and garlic. Sauté until garlic is tender. Lay half the asparagus in skillet, sauté, turning until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to warming dish and repeat with remaining asparagus. Place on serving plate and sprinkle with red onion. Serves 4.
Source: Peak of the Market
- 3 c. asparagus 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced3 tbsp. butter4 tbsp. flour2 c. milk1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated1/2 c. bread crumbs
Trim and wash asparagus; slice into 1-inch lengths. Steam until tender-crisp; drain well. In a lightly greased casserole dish; arrange layers of asparagus and eggs. In a small bowl; blend butter, flour and milk. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour mixture over asparagus and eggs. Sprinkle with cheese and top with bread crumbs. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes until cheese melts and dish is thoroughly heated. Serves 6.
- 3 c. asparagus, chopped2 tbsp. butter1/2 c. onion, chopped1 carrot, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped2 tbsp. flour2 c. chicken stock2 c. milkSalt and pepper to tasteNutmeg to taste
Trim asparagus. Heat butter in medium saucepan. Add onion, carrot, garlic and cook over medium heat five to seven minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Do not brown. Remove from heat and whisk in stock and milk. Return to heat and cook, stirring until mixture barely comes to a boil. Add asparagus and cook over medium heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Purée mixture in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to heat. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serves 4.
Asparagus Chicken Dinner
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut in thin strips1 tbsp. oil1 tsp. ginger1/4 c. blanched almonds2 c. assorted vegetables* cooked tender-crisp1/2 c. chicken stock 1 tbsp. sherry3 tbsp. soy sauce1 tbsp. cornstarch3/4 lb. asparagus, cooked tender-crisp2 c. rice or thin noodles, cooked
Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken three to five minutes until golden. Stir in ginger, almonds, vegetables and stir-fry another three to four minutes.
In a small bowl, combine stock, sherry, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir into skillet until bubbling. Gently add asparagus, reheat and serve over rice or noodles.
*Vegetables could include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc. Serves 4.
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil1-1/2 c. sliced asparagus1 tbsp. sesame seeds1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger1 tbsp. minced garlic1 tbsp. minced shallot1/2 c. bean sprouts1/2 c. diced red bell pepper2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)1 tbsp. soy sauce
Heat sesame oil in wok or skillet over high heat. When hot, add asparagus, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and shallot. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add sprouts and bell pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add lime juice and soy sauce, stir to coat, and serve immediately.