Asparagus is poking up out of the soil this spring! 

It’s always exciting to see the first spears of asparagus poking their way up out of the soil in the spring!  It’s the very first vegetable that we can harvest, and a sure sign of spring.  With a short growing season, asparagus is even more special.

 

Cooking tips:

 

-Snap off or remove with a knife the bottommost woody part of the stem.

-Try tender asparagus spears raw.  Chop into a salad or enjoy with a dip.

– Asparagus is best cooked simply.  Here are two suggestions:

 

Arrange spears loosely in a skillet with an inch of lightly salted boiling water.  Simmer 3-5 min or until bright green and tender, but not mushy.  Remove from heat and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

 

In a tall covered pot, steam asparagus upright with approximately an inch of water for 10 min. or until tender.  This method cooks the tougher bottoms more thoroughly while gently steaming the tender tops.

 

Storage tips:

 

-Refrigerate immediately and use as soon as possible.  Asparagus’ sugars will turn rapidly to starches, reducing flavor quickly.

-Wrap with a damp cloth, or bundle spears with a rubber band and place upright in a container with an inch of water.

 

This is a favorite recipe of mine.  It’s quick and simple, and my kids love it!

 

Asparagus Frittata

  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ c milk
  • ¼ c shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
  • ½ c asparagus cut into 1” pieces

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9” pie plate with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir in asparagus and pour into prepared pie plate.  Bake about 20 min or until set.  Remove from oven and let stand about 5 min before slicing.  Enjoy for breakfast, or with a salad and bread for lunch or dinner!

 

Some of the tips are from the book:  From Asparagus to Zucchini-a guide to Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce

 

Author: Hallie Evans, NE Iowa Food & Fitness F2ECE Associate

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