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14 Days of Asparagus

After 30 years of talking about it we did it. Two years ago we dug the trenches, put in the compost, put in the asparagus crowns, and gradually backfilled with soil and compost as the plants grew toward the surface. Last year we cut a few, but this year we can cut everything that grows for the first two weeks, and that started last night. And when aspargus grows it grows impressively, 6 to 12" per day, so this morning there's more to cut (we planted about 100 crowns), and we'll want to cook it probably every other day.

So last night I sauteed some mushrooms with onions, added the asparagus and a little cooked chicken and tossed it all on wheat penne with truffle oil. That was nice, no one ingredient overpowering the other.

But where do I go from here? Any suggestions for nice simple ways to enjoy really fresh asparagus straight from the garden? Thanks for any good ideas.

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  1. Grilled, wrapped in little bundles with bacon.
    Lightly steamed and added to pasta salads.
    Steamed with a Bearnaise sauce.
    Sauteed with butter and lemon.
    You could also do some pickled Asparagus. Great for appetizers.

    5 Replies
    1. re: boyzoma

      BTW - here is a good recipe I've used:
      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pickled-...

      I also - like some of the replies - like to add garlic.

      1. re: boyzoma

        Boyzoma, Do you cut the asparagus into short 3" pieces and stuff them in like that, or do you cut them to thelength of the jar as you would when you pickle green beans?

        1. re: junescook

          Personally, I like them longer (think quart jar) and do them a little longer in the water bath - maybe 12-15 min. This gives them multiple uses - appetizers or you can use later chop for salad's, etc. You will need a water bath canner, but that can be used for so many other things - think spring/summer - pears, peaches, jams, etc. that you can do when produce is ripe :-)

          1. re: boyzoma

            We have the canner, no problem; so do you do spears the length of the jar, like you would to pickle string beans?

            1. re: junescook

              Yes - I do mine the length of the jar - minus about one inch from the top. Again, make sure you tightly pack. I put all my spices in the bottom and then pour the pickling liquid over, clean tops, seal and give them their "bath".

              That way, I can reduce their size later if I need to for some other dish. Hope that makes sense.

    2. Roasted with shrimp and onions, added to cooked orzo with a lemon dressing and fresh herbs.

      1. Roasted -- spread out on a cookie sheet or sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle or spray with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in a 400 oven about 7-8 minutes. Heavenly!

        5 Replies
        1. re: puzzler

          Roasted is my favorite. Try adding parmesan for the last minute of cooking.

          I also love it grilled, or blanched and then served cold tossed with a lemon & Dijon vinaigrette with lots of green onion.

          1. re: puzzler

            Yeah, I never get tired of simple roasted asparagus, either with olive oil or---if feeling indulgent---butter. And yes, a light dusting of Parmesan is quite nice. I find adding it immediately after pulling the asparagus melts it just fine, if you've used a microplane or the finest side of a box grater. A little chiffonade of fresh mint or tarragon is especially nice.

            FWIW, I generally roast for 7 minutes at 425 degrees, but remember that (obviously) thickness matters a bit, and peeled asparagus will cook a little faster.

            1. re: puzzler

              Balsamic is good on roasted asparagus ...

              I like it steamed served with pasta, a little butter, and parmesan.

              1. re: puzzler

                Haven't had time to try it but this recipe for Roasted Asparagus was in my inbox this morning.
                http://www.examiner.com/x-23850-Fairf...

                1. re: puzzler

                  Roasted is my favorite too. And this year I've been dipping it in a mayo/soy sauce/wasabi mix, all to taste.

                2. I was wondering if i could make an asparagus risotto using the Kashi 7-grain blend. Does anyone know?

                  1. A year or 2 ago I was one of Jamie Oliver's shows where he made a rectangular tart using phyllo for the crust, a filling of mashed potatoes, eggs and sharp cheddar (you could easily add other flavours here), and then he laid asparagus in rows on the top. Drizzle a little olive oil over and pop it in the oven.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cheesymama

                      Wow, that sounds amazing. I've got some puff pastry, and brie and sainte-nectaire cheeses that I think would work as well. Thank you.

                      1. re: cheesymama

                        Yum, was going to say a nice tart with puff pastry too.

                        Also, I very nice app is blanched asparagus, then roll in goat cheese spread on a piece of ham - roll it up then slice for toothpicks.