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Dinner Entree Featuring Fresh Asparagus

With asparagus in season, and very plentiful, I'd like to serve a dinner entree where the asparagus is the star of the show. My only restriction is that it not have red meat. Chicken, pasta, salads, fish or shellfish are all fine. Can you help me with some inspiration? Thanks!

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  1. A savory asparagus bread pudding is nice...

    1. Roasted asparagus lasagna... or another pasta dish based on this.

      1. i love the way asparagus pairs with the sweetness of shellfish & certain mollusks (lobster, shrimp, crab or scallops) plus some form of citrus as the acid.

        i'm thinking seared scallops or a crab salad with a grapefruit sauce...or lobster or shrimp risotto with lemon, mint & fresh peas...or you could always just do a simple pasta dish with spring vegetables and cheese.

        1. Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas from last month's Food & Wine:

          I'm copying the whole thread as you can make it with or without sage, with or without lemon zest, with or without pancetta...lots of little variations--and all tasty ones!


            1. I like grilled asparagus. I also make an omlette with asparagus, cheese and ham.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bigfellow

                I second the asparagus omelette. Your ham addition sounds wonderful (my husband is Mr. Ham) but thus far we’ve been using the Cooks Illustrated asparagus/parm version, where you first sautee ¼” segments of asparagus in butter, then toss them with fresh lemon. The lemon makes the whole thing sing.

              2. Chicken, Asparagus, and Broccoli Stir-Fry from Epicurious


                1. We love asparagus, but it doesn't alone a dinner make. Earlier this week we made eggs benedict with roasted asparagus, with plenty of hollandaise for both.

                  1. I just happened to be reading Michael Ruhlman's blog earlier. This is more inspiration than recipe, but it certainly made me hungry! Both the scallop dish and the asparagus/bacon/egg pizza look like great ways to feature asparagus.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bear

                      Risotto with seafood and the asparagus

                      1. re: bear

                        That DOES look delicious. I wish there was more detail for his recipe.

                      2. I roast it in the oven - toss in oil, with salt, pepper and garlic, lay out on sheet. Then cut up and use as the main veggie over pasta (with only some butter and maybe an herb or two).

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: lergnom

                          We do this, too, but toss with oil and Penzey's Country French Vinaigrette seasoning--sugar, brown mustard, salt, garlic, black pepper, lemon, onion, French tarragon, white pepper, chives, thyme and cracked rosemary.

                          You've got lots of egg-based ideas already, but how about a quiche? You probably already have a favorite quiche recipe and can just add or substitute asparagus. That and a side salad would be great for the warmer weather we're having here.

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            I had actually been thinking about quiche. Or a risotto -- the shrimp and asparagus combination really appeals to me. I've got friends coming for dinner who will round out the meal with salad, wine and dessert. (Wine pairing may be another challenge.)

                              1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                That's a VERY helpful link, StuffedMonkey. Thanks! I'd also been thinking Sauvignon Blanc, but now I see there are more options. One interesting recommendation on that link is for an Alsatian Reisling. I just bought a half case last week, but I never would have considered that pairing; there's still a bit of sweetness to it, and I thought asparagus would need a wine that is considerably drier.

                        2. Asparagus & smoked salmon risotto. A spring favourite in this house.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Harters

                            I was thinking of making something like this tomorrow night. Do you have a recipe? Specifically, do you use stock or simply the reserved asparagus water (or both)? Any lemon? What cheese if any?

                          2. This is an idea that I have not yet tried. I'd love a cheese souffle that has asparagus forming a ring for the walls of the souffle to climb.

                            1. This is one of my old reliables and goes together really quickly if you preroast the shallots:


                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                That's a dish I'd definitely make for my husband and myself (I'm just starting to get into the blue cheeses), but I don't think I'd do it for dinner guests. I wonder if there's a goat cheese that can be successfully substituted. I mean, I know the answer is "yes," but I'm not enough of a cheese maven to know which one might work best.

                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  Cindy, did you want to use goat cheese instead because you're hesitant about the strong flavor of Gorgonzola? if so, you can always use a milder creamy bleu such as Bleu de Bresse or Cambozola.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Yes, that was my thought. I've only recently begun to enjoy bleu cheeses, and I know they're not always appreciated by others. I'm going to try both of those that you've recommended, but I'm not going to include them for this particular dinner menu.

                              2. Asparagus crepes with a light sauce or cannelloni (pasta or sliced potatoes) stuffed with shrimp and asparagus tips. Happy to provide recipes.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: alwayscooking

                                  I'd love the recipe for the asparagus crepes. How far ahead of serving time can the crepes be made?

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    It's a very easy recipe of crepes, filling and a sauce baked at 350 until hot (it can be made ahead).

                                    - Make and reserve crepes.
                                    - Filling is just asparagus either roasted at 450 or blanched. Optionally add meat (bacon, ham, prosciutto) or chopped hard boiled eggs. A little bit of sauce as well.
                                    - Sauce is a cheese Bechamel: 8T butter, 8T flour, 1qt milk. 2T+ lemon juice, zest, 3/4c parm reg grated, 1t salt, 1/8t white pepper, 1/4t nutmeg. Heat butter and flour until flour is cooked. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened and then add lemon juice, zest, nutmeg,salt, pepper, and cheese.
                                    - Assembly: place asparagus and optional fillings in the center of crepe, add a bit of sauce, and fold over each side. Place all crepes in a pan, layer some sauce and additional parm. Bake until bubbly ~20min. If not brown, I finish by broiling. Sprinkle parsley.
                                    - Alternate assembly: fill crepes, plate and cover with warm sauce. The sauce is better freshly made to this needs to be done closer to service.

                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                      Thanks! I'm tucking this recipe away for another time.

                                2. You could make an asparagus tart. I've done that with a square tart pan and a cheese sauce- type layer underneath.

                                  Over the weekend we made something for a dinner that I thought would make a meal in itself. It was an asparagus soup with a parmesan custard in it. My SO made the soup which he made from a recipe he's used a lot which we like. And then I made the parmesan custards using a recipe that epicurious paired with an asparagus soup. I made a custard with fresh grated parmesan, whole milk and cream. Then poured that into a few whisked eggs, poured into ramekins and baked in a hot water bath.

                                  Once baked the custards get turned out into a soup bowl, and the asparagus soup ladled around it. The two went together really well and the parmesan custard was great. I will definitely be making it again. This was part of a menu with salmon and cucumber salad. I was thinking that the custard was rich enough that it and the soup would be enough for a meal, maybe with a light salad and breat.

                                  The epicurious link if it interests you down the line is here:


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: karykat

                                    That sounds delicious! I'm collecting so many recipes that I intend to try before asparagus season is over.

                                  2. We love asparagus and morel risotto in the springtime. It can definitely work as the main entree.

                                    1. Just be careful with the wine paring..

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: grant.cook

                                        Although I'm not providing the wine, I know that someone is bringing Sauvignon Blanc and someone else is bringing Soave Classico. I think they'll both be just fine.

                                      2. I enjoy asparagus stir fried with soya, garlic and ginger. I also enjoy it wrapped in prosciutto and grilled. My grannie makes pickled asparagus - very yummy

                                        1. Here's a tasty and pretty starter salad recipe from Jacques Pépin. (See the photo at the bottom.)

                                          Asparagus en Fête

                                          4 Servings

                                          1½ pounds asparagus (about 20 stalks), peeled and trimmed
                                          1 cup hot tap water

                                          Lemon-mustard sauce:
                                          1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
                                          ½ teaspoon salt
                                          ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                          2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
                                          ¼ cup virgin olive oil
                                          24 oil-cured black olives
                                          2 tablespoons drained capers
                                          1 ripe tomato (5 ounces), seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
                                          ¼ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves

                                          1. Place the asparagus in no more than two layers in the bottom of a stainless steel saucepan. Add the hot tap water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and boil the asparagus for 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Most of the water will have evaporated.
                                          2. Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
                                          3. Remove the asparagus from the pan and spread them out on a platter to speed cooling. When cool enough to handle, cut the tips into 5-inch lengths; reserve the remainder of the stalks. Then, starting at the bottom of the spears, split the stalks in half lengthwise, stopping when you get to the tips; leave the tips intact. Cut the reserved stalks into 1-inch pieces.
                                          4. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
                                          5. At serving time, mix the 1-inch pieces of asparagus with the olives, capers, and tomato in a bowl. Arrange 4 asparagus spears on each plate with tips at the edge of the plates and the stalks spread open to connect and create a “frame” around an open area in the center. Arrange the tomato/olive mixture in the center of each plate. Spoon the sauce over the spears and the mixture in the center. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and serve.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Deenso

                                            How beautiful, simple and festive--nice! :)

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Thanks, LindaWhit and kattyeyes. It IS an impressive-looking dish, isn't it? It's one of my favorite things to serve when entertaining folks who haven't eaten at our house before, just for the 'wow' factor. And then it really tastes good, too. Of course, it's hard to make a mistake with one of Jacques Pepin's recipes...

                                              2. re: Deenso

                                                What a beautifully presented dish! And easy!!!

                                              3. Take 8 stalks of young small asparagus and cook until tender. Or use larger, older spears and then slice in half lengthwise. Weave the cooked spears into an asparagus "mat" of 4 x 4 stalks. On that mat place a perfectly cooked Diver Scallop and ladle Hollandaise sauce over all.