Spring is here and asparagus is in-season. Here are some ways to enjoy such a wonderful seasonal vegetable.
Quick Pickle: Combine vinegar, cumin, coriander, garlic and chile flakes and pour into a jar. Add the asparagus spears and place in the fridge for a few days. They should be nice and pickled. Eat them for a spicy snack or toss them into a salad.
Side Dish: Toss boiled slices of asparagus, leeks with mint and melted butter for a savory side dish.
Shave Raw: Shave raw asparagus spears and Parmigiano Reggiano, and then toss with tender asparagus tips, olive oil and lemon juice for a vibrant salad.
Grilled: Marinate the asparagus in olive oil and garlic for two hours before grilling. Grill alone or with other vegetables.
Roasted: Roast in the oven at 400º F drizzled with olive oil.
To Prepare For Cooking: Start at the base of each asparagus spear and work toward the tip. Bend the spear a few times until you find a place where it breaks easily. Snap off the woody base at that point. If you would like a clean, smooth look then use a vegetable peeler to scrape off the scales on the spears.
Standard Preparation: For 1 pound of asparagus (15 to 24 spears) Wash and snap off the woody bases where the spears break easily. If you like scrape off the scales. Leave the spears whole or cut into 1 inch pieces. You should get about 2 cups of asparagus pieces. Cook, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Or you can steam them for 3 to 5 minutes in a steamer insert. To microwave place in a baking dish or casserole dish with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.
2 Pounds Asparagus
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan or Asiago Cheese
Preheat your oven to 400º F. Snap off and throw away the woody bases from the asparagus. I you like, scrape off the scales. Please the asparagus in a medium size baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the asparagus in a single layer. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the asparagus are crisp-tender. Turn once halfway through the cooking process. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Serves 4