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Best Uses for Asparagus?

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  • Zool Jun 10, 2008 01:42 PM
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I have been given four bunches of lovely, fresh spring asparagus. I really like asparagus, but I live alone and can't eat it all week. What's the best thing to do with this stuff? I figure it totals a little over three pounds? Perhaps four? Any recs would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks,
Zool!

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  1. pureed asparagus soup...seriously springy soup, and it can freeze well

    1. i stand by the beautiful simplicity of olive oil, salt, pepper, roast in the oven. i could eat four pounds of it easily, were i a far fatter, happier man.

      2 Replies
      1. re: beelzebozo

        I agree. I also like to add a little crushed garlic, and grate some parmesan-reggiano over it after roasting

        1. re: JonParker

          I Love roasted asparagus. I recently added some leftover roasted spears, chopped, to a spinach salad with tangy feta, leftover steamed broccoli and mixed olives. It was delicious. I'm now going to plan to have leftover roasted asparagus just for this purpose. One of my new favorite salad combos.

      2. Roast it. Use in sandwiches with mayo and other roasted veggies such as eggplant and red pepper. On homemade pizza. With pasta. With salmon. With beef. Douse blanched asparagus in a vinaigrette and serve as a salad or as an ingredient with other veggies in a salad. Blanched and rolled up in bacon or prosciutto. Serve blanched or roasted with shaved Parmesan Reggiano on crostini. Blanched or roasted and use as an omelette filling ...

        1. I second the soup idea. But save the very tips, blanch them before you do the stalks, add them to the puree later. I like to have one tender-crisp tip per spoonful of soup if possible.

          1. I agree with a pp that it's nice with olive oil, salt, and pepper in the oven.

            I also like to put it in a casserole dish with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, whole wheat bread crumbs, and pecorino romano cheese. Bake it for about 20 minutes...yummy.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rizzo0904

              How about a white lasagne with asparagus -- freeze it for later consumption. My very favourite casseroley pasta dish!

              1. re: rizzo0904

                Try roasting with olive oil, salt, and fresh nutmeg. I think it's even better than using S&P.

              2. I did asparagus "fritto misto", although I guess it's not technically "misto"--flour and enough club soda to make a batter, dip asparagus and deep fry.

                Also love roasted asparagus seasoned with a bit of balsamic.

                Another way we prepare it is to sautee some bacon, drain off most of the fat, then add a bit of olive oil and lemon juice to the pan to create a dressing. Blanch the asparagus, whisk up the dressing and pour over the asparagus, garnish with crumbled bacon.

                I think I'd try blanching some asparagus and then freezing it for later--if you have a vacuum sealer this would be a good time to use it.

                1. A delicious frittata with parmesan and chopped parsley. Boil the asparagus first to your desired level of doneness, cut into 2" pieces and saute lightly with butter. Add eggs, parmesan, s&p to taste and you have a great use for it.

                  I do also like asparagus served simply with drizzled olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

                  1. three of my favorite ways are:
                    1: wrap with procuitto, dip in tempura batter and deep fry
                    2: take any short pasta, add grilled asparagus, grilled zuchinni, grilled chicken (cut in small bites), fresh herbs, a handfull of parmsan, and a dollap of butter
                    3: again with short pasta, brown some pancetta, add kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, some lemon juice and goat or feta cheese. serve warm or cold

                    1. My husband and I have pickled pounds of asparagus a few times, with GREAT results. Canning, of course, is a big project, but it was fun, and such a great product. As spicy/garlicky as we wanted, varying it jar by jar even... we gave it away for presents for a year. (Sigh). We haven't done it in couple years.... I miss it!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: missoulagrace

                        I'll second that thought! I made this recipe last year, and it was so good, I made a bigger batch this spring.

                        Pickled Chipotle Asparagus
                        http://www.recipezaar.com/160203

                        1. re: MsMaryMc

                          ooh! Jealousy simmering like a big canning kettle. Enjoy every hard-earned bite!

                      2. Steam, boil or grill some of it. Chill. Use as needed for asparagus vinaigrette or incorporation into other dishes (frittatas, salads, etc.).

                        Cut, blanch and freeze for later use. You could also purée and then freeze for later incorporation into soups and soufflés.

                        1. You've received many fine suggestions here. I'd like to add one. If you like risotto, you have to try Mark Bittman's take on Asparagus risotto that he got from Mario Battali. Just google it (Bittman Asparagus Risotto should do) for the recipe. I think there's even a video on the NYT site archives. I've made this twice and it's a delicious way to use a nice pound of asparagus.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: MsDiPesto

                            I'll second that: a fab, fab recipe.

                          2. Have a party!

                            1. Asparagus and eggs are a natural fit. I second the rec for frittatas, also quiche with asparagus is wonderful (my personal fave is lobster & asparagus quiche). I'd save the stalks for soup and use the tips for the frittata or quiche.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: dagwood

                                I second the asparagus/egg idea. One of my favorite weekend lunches is a salad of leafy greens topped by freshly steamed asparagus, then top that with a poached egg and drizzle with tuffle oil and sprinkle with sea salt... yum

                              2. Roll out a sheet of puff pastry into a rectangle
                                Score a 1 inch border
                                Sprinkle (inside of border) w/Gruyere cheese
                                Lightly oil asparagus (in baggie)
                                Lay in single row over gruyere
                                Bake as puff pastry directs.

                                OMG

                                1. I love asparagus on my homemade veg pizzas!

                                  1. Hello,

                                    I like to slice thinly on the bias, then saute in olive oil with salt and rough-chopped garlic. I think asparagus cooked this way is at least in the top five tastiest vegetables in existence!

                                    Another thing: I know a lot of people prepare the raw stalk by bending it from both ends until it breaks, then discarding the root end. You lose almost a third of it this way and that's too wasteful for me. Just cut off the very end and use a peeler on the bottom part of the stalk, and the whole thing is good to eat!

                                    1. MAke asparagus lasagna. Search for it on the food Network site, it's Sara Moulton's recipe. She uses goat cheese and some lemon rind and it truly is a gourmet dish.

                                      personally though, I could go through that in two day, simply roasted in the oven with olive oil, some lemon juice and fleur de sel, or grilled on the BBQ.

                                      1. Lots of good ideas ahead of me but...here goes:

                                        Blanch and shock a good bunch (might not be needed if it's as fresh as it sounds)

                                        With a vegetable peeler, peel into thin strips. Toss in a non-reactive bowl with lemon juice and zest, toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesean, and black pepper. Great side/salad for the springtime!

                                        1. Grilled:
                                          marinate in 1 part hoisin, 1 part brown sugar, 1 part balsamic, quarter part olive oil
                                          Char/sear slightly on the grill. Nice if you have veggie basket for grill

                                          no matter what, your pee still smells funny

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: workinglunches2

                                            Actually I've heard that everyone pee smells exactly the same after eating asparagus but not everyone has whatever it is you need to detect it.

                                            Weird but interesting.

                                          2. I just had an appetizer at a new Japanese restaurant in my town.

                                            Wrap asparagus spears in bacon and bake at 375 degrees until the bacon is crisp. Serve with teriyaki or honey mustard dip.

                                            http://www.dinnersforayear.blogspot.com