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Asparagus Help

  • j
  • Jacey Apr 15, 2007 08:44 PM

I have a couple of bunches I need to use in the next couple of days. The thing is, I only like this veggie warm (no cold salads). I've been roasting it, but any other suggestions. I would like to stick with a healthy recipe. thanks

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  1. I recently saw Tyler Florence cook them in a brown grocery store bag with a few thin slices of lemon, bay leaf and olive oil. He rubbed the outside of the bag with olive oil before roasting in the oven (so it wouldn't burn). I'm definitely going to try this!

    1. Soups are an obvious category, though lots of asparagus soup recipes are for cream of asparagus soup--yummy, but so not so healthy. (Though it's possible to use low-fat buttermilk or yogurt with good results) Asparagus, lemon, and egg (avgolemono) soup is also very nice.

      Or how about an asparagus risotto? Or putting some in a stir-fry? Or making a pasta sauce with some (cook cut up stems in well salted water until very soft and then zip through the blender with a bit of the liquid; season with salt, pepper, herbs as desired, then add to pasta along with asparagus tips, cooked to desired tenderness)
      Moving towards the slightly less healthy, asparagus quiche is fantastic; an omelet or frittata is good too, though obviously not quite so rich. Chopped up asparagus and pieces of smoked salmon are great either in an omelet, or in pasta...

      Hmmm, time to pick up some asparagus at the store :)

      1. How about asparagus soup? If you need a recipe, I'd be happy to provide my favorite one.

        Also, checking Epicurious, I see they are front-paging "257 Asparagus Ideas." The list begins here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fin...

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          There's a great healthy recipe for asparagus soup in Madison's Vegetarian Cooking. No cream -- the creamy binding agent is rice.

        2. Roasting is a great way to cook them and is the current trend du jour, but the classic method of cooking asparagus is steaming. There are special tall pots made for the purpose but you don't need them.
          Since I learned to cook them in the microwave, I have never returned to stovetop cooking.
          Lay them in a shallow dish, add about a tablespoon of water, cover the dish (saranwrap will do) and MW for about 3 minutes. Let stand for about 2 minutes and check. If they need more time, zap them again. Drain. Salt, pepper, olive oil or butter. I find that I can get away with as little as a teaspoon or two of butter if I add it while the asparagus are still hot and damp from cooking and toss them well.
          You can serve them with a sauce if you like or just plain.
          Asparagus have an affinity for warm vinaigrettes, parmesan, seafood, eggs, potatoes and the herbs that are associated with Spring. Remember that if you dress them too early with lemon or vinegar, they will lose their bright green color and turn an unattractive grey color.
          If you don't have a MW, they can be easily cooked in a skillet in a small amount of water.
          They are so low in calories that every now and then maybe you can treat yourself to a good Hollandaise or Mornay Sauce.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MakingSense

            Too bad you want healthy suggestions - because asparagus tempura is great!

            1. re: butterchicken2nan

              I think frying gets a bad rap. When it's done right - the oil is hot enough and the coating or batter is properly done - it shouldn't be a grease sponge. I've had light-as-feather tempura.
              A lot of restaurants and home cooks overcrowd the fryer, dropping the temperature of the oil which makes the food absorb grease. Great frying isn't for amateurs.

          2. Steam them as per Making Sense's instructions, toss while hot in the barest amount of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly cracked black pepper.

            That's all you need to do .

            1. Skewer them into little rafts, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, plus a splash of lemon juice. Grill them until they start to char.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jzerocsk

                I just did this last weekend and it was great. I also diced up a few cloves of garlic and let the asparagus marinate in the olive oil and garlic for about 30 min. before grilling.

              2. I often layer them on a chicken parmigiana with a roasted red pepper sauce. I steam the spears for about 4 minutes, and when the chicken parm is pan-fried, layer some roasted red pepper sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, add the breaded chicken and bake, covered, for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil/cover, arrange asparagus spears over top of the chicken, lay some provolone slices on top of the asparagus and chicken, and return it to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and melted. I serve it with some additional warmed roasted red pepper sauce.

                1. Saute in olive oil and make a great Frittata. Have leftovers for lunch.