With tomorrow being March 1st I think it’s officially time to talk about spring. I’m just going to ignore the snow still outside (with apparently more on the way) and frigid temps and think about the positive: the spring produce that’s slowly starting to creep back into the market without having traveled half way around the world to get there. So we’re kicking off a mini-series on spring veggies today. First up? Asparagus.
A Guide to Spring Vegetables – Asparagus
Ok, I know we all think of the same thing when we hear the word asparagus: smelly pee. It’s true and it’s gross, but I think it’s a small price to pay for one of the first green foods we get to devour after far too many months of hardy root vegetables and potatoes galore. So what’s the scoop with these green stalks?
Peak season: February-June
Varieties: Green, purple and white. White asparagus tastes exactly the same as green, it’s just grown underneath soil or sand which prevents it from turning the normal green we’re used to. Purple asparagus is a bit sweeter than the green and white varieties due to a higher sugar content.
What to look for: Tips should be tightly closed and the bottoms should still be green, not woody looking.
How to store it: If not used within a day or two, asparagus ends should be trimmed and placed upright in a shallow glass of water or stood upright and wrapped with a damp cloth and placed in the refrigerator.
How to prepare it: Snap or cut the tough ends off of each spear and wash the asparagus under cold water to remove any sand. Asparagus can be eaten raw (it’s great when ‘shaved’ with a vegetable peeler), boiled, steamed, grilled or my favorite, roasted.
Nutritional benefits: Asparagus is rich in Vitamin B6 and contains lots of folate. It’s also high in calcium, zinc and magnesium and has been said to help lower the risk of heart disease.
Asparagus recipes from Running to the Kitchen
Asparagus recipes from around the web
Leek & Asparagus Quiche with Almond Meal Crust – So, Let’s Hang Out
Grilled Asparagus Salad with Quinoa and Lemon Vinaigrette – Girl Makes Food via With Food + Love
Spring Vegetable Tart – 80Twenty
Simple Asparagus Salad – Beard & Bonnet
Creamy Asparagus, Potato and Leek Soup – Tasty Yummies
Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus, Pancetta & Lemon Herb Breadcrumbs – Table For Two
Asparagus Frittata – Nutmeg Nanny
Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza – Just a Taste
Asparagus with Shallot Caper Vinaigrette – Wanna Be a Country Cleaver
Lemony Asparagus Risotto – Oh My Veggies
Next week: A GUIDE TO SPRING VEGETABLES – RADISHES