Ingredient of the Week: Green Asparagus

IMG - Green asparagus.jpg
Photo by John Suh
Asparagus: good for health, bad for diuretic smell
What is it?

A spring vegetable that dates back to 3000 BC with the Egyptians, it was ingested as a vegetable and a diuretic medicine. Because they turn woody as they mature, only the young shoots are eaten. They are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc,folate, potassium, and fiber.

The most common type of asparagus we see in the U.S., the green asparagus, is not deprived of sunlight during growth (like its white counterpart), and is therefore green from the chlorophyll. Green asparagus is the most nutritious of the three colors: only slightly more nutritious than the white asparagus, but with less sugar than the purple variety.

How do I use it?

Asparagus is often eaten as an appetizer or a side dish. It can be eaten raw in salads, grilled, cooked in stews and soups, boiled or steamed and served with sauces (as in French cooking), or stir-fried with meats and other vegetables (as in Chinese food). The bottom portions of the stalks are often tougher and contain dirt so it is best to rinse well and even chop off prior to preparing.

Where can I find it?

When in season, asparagus can be found at any grocery store. I got mine at the new Whole Foods Market in Montrose.

Recipe: Asparagus with Feta and Truffle Oil
I made this up on the fly when I was looking for something to add color to my dinner plate. Blanch the asparagus, then toss with feta cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil according to taste. Hurry, the season (typically from April through July though it can be bought year round) is almost over.



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3 comments
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SirRon
SirRon

Another idea...Very briefly blanch. Dry. Toss with olive oil, kosher salt, ground pepper. Place on a very hot grill for no more than 1-2 mins (enough for grill marks). Serve immediately or take 2-3 and wrap them together at the bottom with prosciutto.

File this under super simple food that makes you look smarter than you really are. These kill when I do them at tailgates. Works if you skip the blanching stage, which I sometimes do if I do all the prep outside.

Texmex01
Texmex01

I do the same, except I wrap them in regular bacon when cooking @ the game!

SirRon
SirRon

The advantage of the prosciutto is that it's cold and acts as a "handle" for the grilled asparagus. I'm all about putting bacon on things, and I'd eat bacon wrapped asparagus for sure... it's just not so good raw or cured.

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