Asparagus!

Oh joy, it’s asparagus season!  The season’s short, so profit from it by eating as much of the stuff as possible!  The asparagus I picked up today from Off The Vine is perfect and delicious–a beautiful mix of purple and green hues along the stalk, with delicate, thin trunks–no chewy, stringy parts on these asparagus.

Here are some fun asparagus facts.  Keep reading and I’ll tell you the recipe I made last night–delish!

  • An asparagus can grow up to 10 inches in 24 hours
  • Asparagus contains a decent amount of Vitamin C
  • White asparagus is the same as green or purple asparagus, but it’s covered from the sun to prevent it from turning green
  • Asparagus grows at its own rate and has to be hand-harvested
  • It’s a member of the Lily family
  • It’s commonly known that asparagus brings an odor to the eater’s urine.  This is because our bodies metabolize the acid in asparagus into a chemical that resembles the chemical in skunk spray.  Apparently this happens to everyone–but not everyone has the scent glands to detect the smell.

Now you’ve earned the recipe!  It’s very simple and stir-fried.  You could do the same steps with a variety of veggies.  You might also want to add soy sauce and be adventurous.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet on high heat.  Add 2 cloves of minced or pressed garlic and cook until just beginning to brown.  Turn down the heat to medium.  Add one pound of delicious, fresh asparagus (I cut mine into 1-inch pieces) and cook, turning to coat with oil and promote even cooking.  I also added about a half-teaspoon of dried red pepper for some extra punch.  While cooking, the asparagus will first turn a bright green.  The stalks will be crunchy but warm at this point.  I prefer to continue the cooking a bit longer so the asparagus loses some of it’s crunch–to promote this, I put the lid on the skillet and cooked until tender.  For a drier, crispier dish, leave the lid off and keep the heat high.  Cook until the asparagus is warmed and begins to char in some parts.

Alternatively, this is how my mom roasts her asparagus–simple and delicious. It’s similar to Tess’ recipe on the Off the Vine site, but is the vegan-version.

Heat the oven to 425 F.  Throw asparagus spears in a container with a dose of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Stir or cover and shake the dish to coat each spear.  Lay spears on a cookie sheet and roast 15-20 minutes in the oven.  The asparagus will begin to char and shrivel in some parts, but the taste will be fabulous.

And yet another idea that I might actualize later in the week–I’m thinking an asparagus omelet with caramelized onions might be nice.

Have a good way to cook and eat asparagus?  Please pass it along!  I’d love to try it.  You can find Tess’ roasted asparagus recipe, plus more recipes, at the Market site, found here.

Bon appétit!

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