Asparagus tips and recipe ideas

There are oodles of ways to prepare asparagus and they all add a unique flavor to this spring-time vegetable.

At Sidney & Anthony’s wedding the end of April, we had marinated asparagus which is essentially pickled asparagus with a great tangy flavor.  The slender tips still have a bite, but the vinegar helps to break down some of the fibers.  Marinated asparagus is great as a side dish, or placed on top of a salad with other spring veggies from the market.  To really get the full flavor of the marinated asparagus you’ll want to keep them in the pickling solution for at least 6 hours or overnight. 

Grilled asparagus is also another great favorite.  Use the simple marinade or spice things up a bit more using the same dressing mixture as the marinated asparaugs.  Fire up the grill and wrap the asparagus in a pocket of foil (this will also help steam the asparagus a tad too) or if you like the charred flavor from the grill, use a handy grilling basket so the veggies really absorb the smoky flavor.

Speaking of a charred, smoky flavor – you can also accomplish this on the stove top.  Using a dry skillet, place the asparagus spears in the pan and let them get a little dark on all sides and then add EVOO or a little water to the pan.  They cook quickly so keep an eye on them – or your nose!  As soon as you can smell them – they are al dente!

Add a new twist to your Friday night dinners with the kids.  Instead of making French fries – try asparagus “fries.”  Roast your asparagus spears on a cookie sheet sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Before you are ready to take them out, push all of the asparagus to the center of the cookie sheet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and melt.  A healthy twist to cheesy fries!

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