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14 Days of Asparagus

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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.

                        1. re: cheesymama

                          Link to Jamie's recipe:

                          http://www.jamieoliver.com/foodwise/a...

                        2. I love lightly steamed asparagus in sesame noodles. I came up with a good recipe for that recently, and it was a huge hit at a party. It's not a traditional sesame noodle ingredient, but it really works well.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cathyeats

                            Cathyeats, that sounds good. So what did you do?

                            1. re: junescook

                              Here is the recipe. It's a pretty basic sesame noodle recipe, other than the asparagus. I could eat this every day, it's so good! It's not as heavy as a lot of sesame noodle recipes, either. So no guilt!

                              Sauce:
                              4 T. rice vinegar
                              3 T. low sodium tamari or soy sauce
                              2 T. mirin (sweet japanese cooking wine – available in most supermarkets)
                              1 T. sugar
                              1/4 t. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
                              4 t. minced fresh ginger
                              3 cloves garlic, minced
                              2 T. sesame oil
                              2 T. toasted sesame oil
                              2 T. tahini

                              10 oz. soba noodles

                              1/2 lb. thin asparagus, cut into 1/2″ pieces (snap off and discard tough ends)
                              1 cucumber, seeded and sliced into thin 1″ strips
                              4 scallions, sliced
                              1/3 c. chopped cilantro

                              Blanch the asparagus pieces in boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

                              In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the sauce ingredients. Cook the noodles according to package directions, rinsing with cold water several times after draining. Combine with the sauce, then mix in the asparagus, cucumber, scallions and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

                              Photo is at http://whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010/04/...

                          2. Grilled or pan fried with a touch of sugar/honey (cook some mushrooms and bell peppers too), drizzle with olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper, served with poached or sunny side up eggs and some sea salt.

                            (Pureed) Roasted asparagus soup. Don't add too many things. Maybe some garlic and onion, water or stock, seasoning and a starch or cream to thicken (if you want).

                            Cook (steam/boil) lightly (I like a bit of bite) and mix into quinoa or some grain with whatever assortement of other vegetables you enjoy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: amokscience

                              Your first recipie sounds amazingly delish and so easy! I'm going to make it when I get home tonite, thanks for the great idea!

                            2. We like bite-sized pieces of asparagus and nice ham in angel hair pasta, with a very simple alfredo sauce stirred into the mix.

                              1. Of all the cooking show recipes I've seen, "asparagus" always brings up vivid memories of this:
                                http://www.jamieoliver.com/foodwise/a...
                                and the tart someone mentioned earlier:
                                http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/ve...

                                1. My mother once did an all asparagus dinner party. Each course had asparagus. I remember there was a soup and a souffle. Can't remember what she did for dessert. But if all of your crowns produce you may well want to invite over 4 to 6 people and stuff them full of asparagus. I'm sure that's one reason she did it.

                                  1. In the "Vegan Spring/Summer Ideas" thread, there's a roasted asparagus soup you might be interested in:
                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7041...

                                    1. stir fried with garlic and black bean sauce
                                      tossed in olive oil/salt/pepper or vinagrette or your choice and grilled

                                      we're about to harvest our first year's growth of asparagus.....they're peeking so maybe this afternoon I can pick some!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: onigiri

                                        Oh yum! That sounds delish!

                                        1. re: onigiri

                                          They are so sweet they are amazing. Rather than snap them, I peeled some of the lower section to get the most out of them.

                                        2. This is a similar idea to blue room's - pasta with asparagus and smoked salmon in a cream sauce
                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... - I've usually done it without dill and with extra lemon

                                          Other personal favourites are asparagus in omelets and on sandwiches with melted cheese, in addition to the usual sautes and stir-fries

                                          1. The simplest, easiest way I like to cook asparagus is to heat a skillet up add a touch of olive oil, aspargus spears and a splash of white wine or dry vermouth and cover it up for a few minutes. Remove the cover, add butter salt and pepper and serve. Sometimes I'll add sauteed mushrooms and some nuts like almonds or pistachios.

                                            1. I am sort of a purist as i could and have eaten plain asparagus 14 days in a row. I just wrap it in wax paper and microwave.

                                              I also add chopped pieces to chicken broth for a light fresh soup. Usually I also put dried mushrooms or sliced fresh mushrooms. Sometimes I'll add pieces of chicken or salmon.

                                              My uncle who was into the health food thing two decades before anyone else, got me liking raw asaparugus. I usually just chop one up and add it to a green salad. It has a nutty taste.

                                              The SF Chronicle has a good recipe section and some nice asparagus recipes such as this one for Lasagna With Asparagus, Lemon Ricotta & Swiss Chard
                                              http://www.sfgate.com/food/recipes/de...

                                              They also have a recipe for Asparagus Tart
                                              http://www.sfgate.com/food/recipes/de...

                                              Enter asparagus in the recipe search and there are over 140
                                              http://www.sfgate.com/food/recipes/se...?

                                              Just a few that seemed interesting

                                              Potato Salad With Asparagus And Pesto Vinaigrette
                                              Grilled Asparagus & Pesto Tortilla-Pizzetta
                                              Grilled Asparagus Sandwiches With Spring Onion Vinaigrette

                                              Of course there are a lot of soup, salad, risotto, pasta, fritata recipes as well. They also have lots of simple asparagus recipes with different herbs such as tarragon or mint.

                                              If you search Chow recipes there are some good ideas there such as Asparagus, Green Bean, and Wax Bean Salad or Asparagus with Sweet Onions, Garbanzo Beans, and Mint
                                              http://search.chow.com/search?query=a... &type=Recipe&tag=search_results;search_nav

                                              A little more ambitious are the recipes on the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market site. They are mostly submitted by chefs from SF's best restaurants and include recipes such as

                                              Asparagus Soup with Curry & Crème Fraîche
                                              http://www.cuesa.org/seasonality/reci...

                                              A few of the more interesting

                                              Shaved Asparagus with Smoked Trout and Pistachios

                                              Asparagus Breakfast Pudding with Green Garlic and Fontina

                                              Asparagus & Manchego Cheese Flan with Warm Chipotle-Spring Garlic Cream

                                              Asparagus and Butter Bean Salad

                                              Asparagus Salad with Charred Onion Vinaigrette, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Burrata, Wild Arugula and Speck

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: rworange

                                                I'm sick with a cold and too out of it to do anything useful. The thought of spring asparagus is lovely so I did some googleing.

                                                BTW, if the asparagus is really sweet, I hope you will try a bite raw. Don't forget about asparagus tempura.

                                                Anyway, state and country produce boards and councils usuall have some good recipes. Here are a few.

                                                Washington Asparagus doesn't have many recipes, but the wild rice salad with asparagus and salmon sounds good ... though I might skip the cranberries. Asparagus salsa and asparagus guacamole might have some merit
                                                http://www.washingtonasparagus.com/de...

                                                California produce boards always have lots of recipes and there is no exception with asparagus
                                                http://www.calasparagus.com/consumer/...

                                                Some of the more interesting recipes
                                                Asparagus and Mushroom Filled Crepes - and lovely to look at. A few edible flowers sprinkled on top would be beautiful
                                                Asparagus and Citrus Salad - with blood oranges

                                                Ontario aspapragus
                                                http://www.asparagus.on.ca/recipes1.php

                                                Asparagus and Ham Brunch Bread
                                                Asparagus Butter - to use up the part of the stalk that isn't tender
                                                Asparagus Strudel
                                                Asparagus, Apple and Chicken Salad
                                                Asparagus on Toast - SOS ... but using asparagus

                                                Australia asparagus council
                                                http://asparagus.com.au/Recipes%20%26...

                                                Porcini Mushroom and Orange Scented Asparagus Marscapone
                                                Sesame Crumbed Asparagus Courthouse Restaurant Style ... certainly different
                                                Asparagus French Toast
                                                Asparagus Munchies ... probably not for your lovely fresh asparagus, but interesting
                                                Steamed Scallops and Asparagus with Lemon Grass Butter Sauce

                                                This has nothing to do with any board, just a different recipe I stumbled across

                                                Roasted Asparagus with Pomegranate Syrup
                                                http://www.digginfood.com/2009/04/roa...

                                                And these folks seem to have asparagus fever like I do and compiled a list of 81 recipes
                                                http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/...

                                                They are food soul mates for me as they seems to have compiled lots of these types of lists. The rules for this one were

                                                It had to include inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients.

                                                It had to be healthy according to how we usually do it on this blog. Meaning: mostly made up of whole food ingredients, lower in fat and calories, high in vitamins in minerals, etc. '

                                                If it came from an aggregate recipe site (Cooking Light, All Recipes, etc.), it had to have had a high approval rating from reviewers. If it came from a food blog, I just trust it. We’re trustworthy people, see.

                                                No Cream of Anything soup or mayonnaise. Because I hate them.

                                                A few different recipes in the list

                                                Asparagus Spinach Pancakes
                                                Asparagus and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
                                                Polenta Wedges with Asparagus and Mushrooms
                                                Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf
                                                Strawberry Asparagus Salad ... my two favorite spring things ... and looking at it, it may just work
                                                Wasabi Roasted Asparagus
                                                Honey Lime Asparagus with Goat Cheese
                                                Apricot-Glazed Roasted Asparagus

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  I'm intrigued by using the cut off stems for asparagus butter. The recipe in the previous link is a bit esoteric ... just wat are monkey dishes.
                                                  http://www.asparagus.on.ca/recipe.php...

                                                  Here's a better one

                                                  Asparagus and Thyme Butter
                                                  http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/...

                                                  This asparagus butter recipe is used for tea sandwiches
                                                  http://wondertime.go.com/life-at-home...

                                                  If mixing with butter, why not cream cheese ... this l ooks wonderful
                                                  Asparagus Cream Cheese Dip
                                                  http://notstepfordwives.com/?p=469

                                                  And this has nothing to do with spreads, but just sounded good
                                                  Asparagus Mashed Potatoes
                                                  http://www.harvesteating.com/2010/02/...

                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    rworange, sorry to hear you're sick but DAYAM, I love it when you go on a Googling bender! LOL

                                                    These three posts (and all of the posts) are a veritable goldmine of asparagusy goodness - thank you, thank you, thank you!

                                                    :::::bookmarking the entire thread:::::::

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      Googling bender ... love the term ... and so true.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        LindaWhit, How do you bookmark this?

                                                        Thanks,

                                                        Henry

                                                        1. re: junescook

                                                          Henry - at the top of this thread, there's a "button" that should say "Save to My Chow". Click that. It's now saved (and you'll see that the button changes to "Remove from My CHOW".)

                                                          To find the thread, click on the MY CHOW menu bar at the top of any thread, and once MY CHOW loads (essentially all of the threads you've commented on), click on the tiny Favorites link in the secondary bar. That's where all the Recipes that you've put on the Members Recipes board are, those recipes you've saved on the main Recipe board, as well as any threads you've marked as Favorite.

                                                          HTH!

                                                  2. re: rworange

                                                    RWO, thank you for all the great info. I think I've now got enough recipes to last for the rest of my life. They are amazingly sweet freshly picked. My simplest way of cooking them is to cut them ito 2 or 3" lengths, put them ito a covered dish stems at the bottom and microwave on the auto vegetable settting, turning them off when it gets to the countdown. Then I rinse them in cold water to set the color. It's kind of like a tender blanch.

                                                    I found your wax paper method interesting. Thats the way I cook corn on the cob since there are only two of us. I just make sure the ears are wet or have some butter on them then dothem 3 minutes, turn 2 minutes (that would be enough for 2 ears -- repeat for more).

                                                    I hope you get over your cold soon. Have some chicken soup -- maybe with a little asparagus in it.

                                                    H

                                                    1. re: junescook

                                                      Nice idea of rinsing them in cold water to set the color. Will give that a try next time.

                                                  3. I'm very fond of cooking asparagus spears in very, very little water in a covered saute pan. I cut carrots into long strips the same size as the asparagus, and put the carrots in the water just a bit earlier than the asparagus. If you do it right, the water's just done evaporating when the veggies are done. Add butter, salt & pepper and some grated lemon rind. That's it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: shaogo

                                                      I favor the covered-skillet approach, too. A one-pound bunch, trimmed (or snapped, which is my MO) or its bottoms fits well in a 10-inch skillet. I pour in about a quarter cup of water, add some salt, shake the asparagus around, put th lid on, and turn the heat to medium-medium high. A few minutes later, the asparagus is tender and the water is gone. I often eat it with mothing more on it, especially when it's extra fresh, but I also like it dressed with a drizzle of lemon olive oil or flavorful EVOO.

                                                    2. steamed or roasted, topped with a fried egg and parmigiano reggiano or a shallot or mustard vinagrette.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                        And, let me add, I am impressed! Right now my yard is too shady for vegetable gardening. But clearing a sunny space for a garden is on my long-term to-do list. I *really* want an asparagus patch. And lots of basil.

                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                          That's how I had it served (main course) in a restaurant in Turin last year. Just steamed with a runny eggs on top and shavings of Parmesan. I made this last night for dinner and it was very well received. Must have good bread and very fresh farm egg for optimal result.

                                                          I would love to hear more asparagus/pasta ideas; made cavatelli with ricotta, asparagus and scallions the other night, with lots of Parmesan on top. But I think it lacked something. Maybe pancetta cubes?

                                                          1. re: erica

                                                            Did you roast the asparagus first? Seems you could bump up the flavor a bit that way. Pancetta sounds good, too.

                                                            1. re: erica

                                                              Last week I tossed what was leftover from a saute of asparagus lengths, fava beans, and garlic with linguini. Added some sauteed mushrooms (oyster b/c I had some on hand; any would do), more olive oil, minced parsley, and lots of grated parmesan. It was really good. But pancetta wouldn't hurt either.

                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                Thanks to you both. Roasting first would probably be better. Or maybe even sauteeing in a pan with higher heat. I will add garlic and maybe pancetta when I make it again tomorrow. I wish I had some fresh favas!

                                                          2. My favorite recipie (OK, ONE of my favorite recipies) came from this site and was an asparagus recipie to boot! Flavor combination is fantastic and this can either be a main or a side, depending on your appetite.

                                                            http://www.chow.com/recipes/10847-roa...

                                                            1. Lightly steamed until tender/crisp, rinse in cold water, then dip in this paste:

                                                              2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
                                                              1 tablespoon honey
                                                              1 tablespoon rice vinegar
                                                              1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
                                                              1 small green onion - fine chopped
                                                              1 clove garlic - minced

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: hannaone

                                                                Gochjang, is Korean crack! Everything tastes good with it!
                                                                I'm sooo jealous. Not of a sign of our "ass per grass" yet.

                                                              2. Best way for asparagus: Chop into short pieces. Saute in screaming hot olive oil, toss lower parts of stem in first, then after two minutes, toss in the spears, liberally salted with kosher salt.

                                                                Nothing else needed. Perfecto.

                                                                1. Hooray! Our first stalks of asparagus are sticking through the mulch! Asparagus and fresh roasted green chile enchiladas, posole burritos and tacos coming coming right up!

                                                                  1. Make a quiche using a mixture of Swiss and Feta cheese and put asparagus tips in it. The combination of sweet asparagus and salty cheese is wonderful. And congratulations on your asparagus bed. After July 4 let the plants go to flower to nourish the roots. The bed will last for fifty years. Don't forget that you can freeze asparagus .

                                                                    1. Main or starter: You can steam them, pile a lot on each plate and then top them with chopped hard boiled eggs and chopped ham. Pour a little melted butter over and scrape a nutmeg over it all with salt and pepper. This is how Dutch folks eat the white ones, but IMO its even better with green ones. Piece of toast on the side and its a good dinner.

                                                                      Appetizer: Spread boursin on prosciutto and wrap around a stalk and grill til crispy. The best food in the world.

                                                                      My Japanese friend brought over an appetizer of perfectly steamed asparagus topped with a "salad" of perfectly fresh Dungeness crab mixed with mayo (Kewpie) and little else. The flavours were amazing together.

                                                                      Our fave restaurant serves asparagus in tempura batter with a small pile of curry salt for dipping. I'm not the deep frying sort, but this almost had me converted. Crazy good and yet simple flavours.

                                                                      You've got me thinking I need to find the space/patience for a patch in my own garden.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: waver

                                                                        You spend much more time thinking about it than it takes to do it. I had bought my wife a Toro mini tiller (uses regular gas) for her birthday in September. Then we planned on getting the 2 y-o crowns at the Goshen, CT plant sale in April. The mini helped us dig the trenches easily in spite of the fact that we were digging in new, very rocky area. They, just follow directions: compost, soil, crowns, backfill as they grow over a few weeks. Last year we could have picked for one week but we let thm go. This year we have the first two weeks as I noted at the beginning. After that, as someone has said, if you give them a bit of a feeding every year, they could last well over 20 years. Seriously, we were just surprised how much easier it turned out to be than we agonized over. If you live in the northeast, get onto the Northwest Conservation District mailing list. In April they have a plant sale at the Goshen Fairgrounds in Goshen, CT that is wonderful. I, as many CT certified master gardeners, have volunteered to work on the sale days to help out. I think that the prices for perennials, bushes, trees, etc. are close to half of what they would be at a regular nursery.

                                                                        http://www.conservect.org/Default.asp...

                                                                        1. re: junescook

                                                                          Ooooo, thanks for this. Hadn't realized you could get two-year old crowns. I thought you had to start from scratch and turn it into a 4-year project before you could even get a taste! I'm actually on the opposite end of the continent and in Canada, but I'll try to hunt some down.
                                                                          Thanks again.

                                                                      2. my mom has been making asparagus the same way for years now and it is always requested at family gatherings, or even by the neighbors. it's very simple and tastes so good, and i'm not sure why! works best with thinner stalks, but i like it with thick ones too.

                                                                        after washing and snapping off tough bottoms, blanche asparagus quickly in boiling water. drain and run under cold (ice) water to stop cooking. heat up some olive oil in a pan over medium-low and add a few slices (or cloves depending on taste and amount of asparagus) and cook for 30 seconds. add asparagus and toss, not letting anything burn. after a minute or two, add fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste and chopped fresh tarragon.

                                                                        mom always put the asparagus on a platter and poured the oil/garlic/tarragon/lemon right over the top and served it hot in the winter, cold (refrigerated for several hours) in the summer. there is nothing like it, i'm telling you. wish i had the proportions of everything, but don't. when it's right, it's sooooo good!

                                                                        1. Some great ideas above.

                                                                          In an earlier thread (which also has some good suggestions), I posted one of my favourite preps, a kind of Asian-Spanish fusion asparagus vinaigrette: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2855...

                                                                          As mentioned uptread, roasting is a superb option. Here's what I usually do: cover the bottom of a buttered narrow ramekin with a layer of asparagus; scatter Parmesan over; cover with another layer of asparagus; scatter Parmesan over again; dot with butter and roast in a 400º+ oven until tender. Salt and pepper before serving. Top with a fried egg (runny yolk, TYVM, because it it makes a sauce) and you've got the basis of a delicious light meal.

                                                                          Or try this simple side dish (hat tip to Marcella Hazan): Sauté the spears in butter until they turn a darker green; season with salt and cover the pan for a couple of minutes; remove the cover and throw in an equivalent volume of halved (or quartered large) mushrooms; raise the heat cook just until the mushrooms are tender but before they release their juice; season with pepper and serve immediately.

                                                                          Another dish I make every spring is Chicken Asparagus, a stir-fry of chicken breast and sliced asparagus in a fiery chile sauce (surprisingly, not only does the chile not overwhelm the asparagus, it actually amplifies its flavour). While I've never succeeded in recreating the dish that was my mind-blowing intro to the concept (that occurred years ago at a hole in the wall -- Little Szechuan Kitchen? -- on Oliver Street in Manhattan), the following NYT recipe is a pretty good starting point: http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/895...

                                                                          1. I make a dip for steamed or roasted asparagus that people always love: mix soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, a little hot chili oil, and a few drops of orange oil (you could use some grated orange zest instead) into mayonnaise. Sometimes I also serve a little dish of sesame seeds on the side: dip spear in sesame mayo, then into seeds for some extra crunch. (Not very elegant so I usually do this only for us or folks we know very well .)

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                              A first course I serve in asparagus-parboil the stalks for five or six minutes, shock in ice water. Pat dry, gather a handful of spears, and lay the on top of some pieces of prosciutto. Wrap the prosciutto around the spears making a bundle. Mix together fresh bread crumbs, grated parmigiano, and olive oil until you get a nice wet paste. Mound on top of the prosciutto, then run under the broiler until the topping and prosciutto crisp.

                                                                            2. My lazy man's warm weather chilled asparagus soup is ridiculously simple - 1 1/2 lbs asparagus, snapped or cut, whatever your pleasure - boiled / steamed in 16 oz stock until very soft, pour all into blender with 1 pint half and half, season with salt and white pepper, chill until tomorrow. Stir, serve in chilled bowls with cilantro garnish, avocado slivers and croutons.
                                                                              For a heartier dish on a cooler day, "Pork Felix" is my variation of steak or veal oscar, (and much cheaper). Pork tenderloin medallions plated with alternating starbursts of warm asparagus spears and long segments of snow or king crab, topped with bearnaise. A crowd pleaser.

                                                                              1. I tried some lovely chicken and asparagus tea sandwiches... pretty much just chicken salad with a layer of asaparagus over the top on thinly sliced buttered bread. They were delicious. Enjoy your bounty!

                                                                                1. Shrimp aspic w/ layers of asparagus and boiled egg slices.