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Help with Asparagus

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As a sequel to the hugely successful "Help with Arugula" (wink wink), I would like to ask for your favorite uses for - my favorite vegetable - Asparagus. Though running a little late this year, the Asparagus patch is now starting to produce delicious spears. Some favorite uses are :

Asparagus soup (freezes beautifully for a great winter treat),
Grilled asparagus,
Simmered and served with a dill butter sauce, and
Baked : Lay in a casserole, sprinkle bottom two thirds with feta, herb bread crumbs, and drizzled butter. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes til crumbs are golden. Fantastic.

Can anyone help with creative uses or tasty salad recipes for Asparagus ?

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  1. I love to drizzle it with olive oil, fresh ground salt and pepper, and roast it in the oven until it starts to darken and carmelize. Take it out, squirt on some fresh lemon juice and some grated parmesan...I can eat myself silly on the stuff.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dingey

      I do lemon roasted aspargus, too but a bit differently than you. I add some zest to the asparagus before I roast it and omit the parm. Lemon and asparagus seem to have a real affinity for each other.

      I also like to stir fry onions, shitakes, and asparagus. I start the chopped onions in a bit of oo, when soft add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they start to release their juices, then add the bias-sliced asparagus last and cook on high heat, stirring, until the asparagus is bright green and al dente. Season with salt and pepper and devour!

      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        NICE. i wish I'd revisited earlier and seen this idea while asparagus was still in season! I'm JUST becoming a convert to mushrooms, thanks to joining a CSA whose leader won a grant to study mushroom cultivation....

    2. I am fond of a grilled asparagus sandwich--asparagus drizzled with olive oil, strewed with salt/pepper and grilled. Once done, place some spears on a piece of good crusty bread spread with some mayo.

      1. The day before I have people over for brunch, I take some asparagus and submerge it in the brine from good pickles. Let it soak for 24 hours and then used the spears as garnishes for bloody marys.

        1 Reply
        1. re: southernitalian

          Do you put them in the pickle brine raw? Or blanch or fully cook?

        2. I've always loved this sesame asparagus salad from the Joy of Cooking - although I always steam rather than boil the asparagus.

          http://www.thehenryford.org/ViewRecip...

          I want to try this from Smitten Kitchen, however I would have to sub almonds or hazelnuts for the pine nuts ($$$). She actually has several asparagus recipes.

          http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/05/rib...

          1 Reply
          1. re: corneygirl

            corneygirl - I just linked to a smittenkitchen mention too! Below, I've linked to bushwickgirl's post about the smitten recipe for asparagus pizza which is just great. I'll have to check out the link you've posted as well. Thanks.

          2. bushwickgirl turned me on to an asparagus pizza recipe last year. It's in her post with my reply here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7111... . It's awesome and I'm actually making it tonight!

            We also enjoy asparagus risotto - lots of lemon juice & zest, asparagus added near the end so they maintain some crunch; toss in a few favas if you have them and it's just wonderful.

            1. Asparagus spears wrapped w prosciutto, drizzled w olive oil and sprinkled w lemon zest then roasted. I serve these beneath poached eggs topped w sea salt and grated parmesan.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                Sounds amazing. That reminds me of an Hors D'Oeuvres I had once. It was an asparagus spear, wrapped with a thin slice of beef. There was a cream cheese - horseradish spread inside and they were tied with a chive. Man were they good...

                Looked something like this :

                 
                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  I did this - but just blanched asparagus wrapped with prosciutto then grilled - the other day and it rocked.

                  Last night's dinner was an asparagus, kale, tomato and pea fritatta with a ton of fresh herbs. Today's lunch is chickpeas, peas and asparagus with fresh dill and pesto.

                  I also LOVE asparagus with mushrooms. Saute with shallots, throw in a heap of white wine, maybe some tarragon, and finish with a touch of cream. Then serve it over chicken paillards. Yum!

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Tonight we had the truly scrumptious Fettuccine Alfredo w Asparagus and Mushrooms - a Food & Wine recipe I've been making for years. Tonight I added some sweet baby shrimp. Smoked chicken is also delicious.

                    Here's the recipe:

                    http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fe...

                  2. I love roasted asparagus and goat cheese in a wrap. there are a bunch of recipes around for a shaved raw asparagus salad with lemon and I believe, pine nuts. Check Smitten kitchen . It is a great salad.

                    1. Chicken Asparagus Parm - blanch the asparagus, and lay them on top of the breaded chicken cutlets that have been tucked into some roasted red pepper sauce in the pan and mostly baked in the oven. Top with some provolone and finish baking.

                      Or Chicken Asparagus Rollups with an Alfredo sauce.

                      1. We've been picking ours for a week or so now, so I resurrected the help I got from CHers last yesr:

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/704188

                        1. Also, saw Mario Batali this am on the Today show make an asparagus alfredo. While his pasta was cooking, he was thinly slicing the asparagus into rounds using a mandoline (I'd stack them in a food processor with a 2 mm blade), then he sauteed the rounds in a pan of butter untill crisp tender. He added a spoonful of pasta water then the pasta and quite a bit of parm-reg. That was pretty much it but for more parm on serving.

                          1. Here's Batali's pancetta-wrapped asparagus with citronette. It's fantastic.

                            http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pa...

                            1. i just remembered asparagus , bacon and egg pasta from Mark Bittman; asparagus sauteed with bacon,then mixed into raw beaten egg and mixed with cooked pasta. my dinner tonight!

                              1. Asparagus-and-Prosciutto-Crostini-with-Fonduta

                                I made this several times and loved it (one time I broiled it and crisped the prosciutto a little which was nice).

                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo....

                                1. This broiled recipe I came up with is pretty good, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon-pepper tarrgon lemon butter sauce. http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/...

                                  1. I made a quinoa salad today with blanched, bias-cut asparagus, rinsed and diced preserved meyer lemon, sliced green onion, toasted pecans, lemon juice and olive oil.

                                    1. This is a South Indian recipe I usually make with string beans, but it works great with asparagus when it's in season. If you have an Asian grocery nearby that sells frozen unsweetened grated coconut (dried doesn't work nearly so well), and fresh curry leaves, it's an easy and interesting summer dish.

                                      ASPARAGUS THORAN:

                                      One bunch of asparagus - chopped into smallish bite-sized pieces

                                      Salt to taste

                                      Wet Masala:
                                      1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
                                      1/2 tsp - whole cumin seeds
                                      1- shallot or half an onion, coarsely chopped
                                      4 Tbsp - grated coconut

                                      Tempering Mix:
                                      1 Tblsp cooking oil (olive or untoasted sesame oil work best)
                                      1 tsp - mustard seeds
                                      7 curry leaves
                                      3 dried red chilis

                                      In a blender or mini-processor, grind the wet masala ingredients together into a coarse paste and set aside.

                                      Heat oil in a skillet, then add the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the red chilis and curry leaves and toast for about 30 seconds.

                                      Add cut asparagus and stir and cook until halfway done (a minute or less, depending on the size of the pieces.

                                      Add the wet masala mixture and salt. Sprinkle some water in if necessary. Cover and cook another couple of minutes until the asparagus is tender.

                                      1. my original post disappeared.

                                        i recently made a fabulous salad with asparagus, strawberries and basil overtop baby greens with mosto cotto. yum!

                                        1. Thank you all for so many amazing recipes and Junescook for last years thread. The Asparagus is bursting out of the ground and thankfully there is no shortage of great recipes now.

                                          I'd like to share another excellent salad recipe that also works with your left over cooked asparagus. Cook asparagus til "Al dente" (any method works great but I find grilled works best for this recipe), chill for an hour or two (or covered overnight), plate asparagus, drizzle with a slightly sweet lemon / balsamic vinaigrette, and top with a little black pepper and saved Parmesan. Really really good.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                            farro or rice risotto with asparagus and spring greens is wonderful.

                                          2. battered and deep fried asparagus spears, dusted with parmigiano, a giant bowl of aioli, and a nice ice cold beer!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Novelli

                                              OMG Novelli, that sounds amazing!

                                              1. re: Novelli

                                                I vote for this one!!! tempura asparagus. Wonderful!!!

                                              2. I'm a huge fan of shaved asparagus salad. It's super easy, though it does take a few minutes to shave the asparagus with a veggie peeler. I usually keep it simple -- light vinaigrette with a bit of parmesan or some toasted nuts.

                                                Otherwise, grilled asparagus is amazing, either as a base for a poached egg or as an ingredient in a sandwich/omelet/pasta.

                                                1. plenty more here:
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/704188
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/276905
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/527718
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/692591
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705526
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/392105
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/615138
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780812
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/379780
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/711167
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/389570
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/746902
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/277812
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/285555

                                                  1. These are to die for...

                                                    Chipotle Pickled Asparagus
                                                    http://www.food.com/recipe/pickled-ch...

                                                    The only thing I change when I make this recipe is to cut down on the carrots--they're tasty, but I want more room in the jar for those asparagus!

                                                    1. One of my spring favourites is pasta of choice carefully combined with lightly steamed asparagus. Cut the asparagus after steaming before combining with pasta. Anoint the pasta mixture with a good olive oil and top with freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago and toss together lightly. Serve at room temperature.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: rakip

                                                        Sounds great rakip. Alas, this years harvesting has ended and though I am not sick of eating Asparagus, we will only have pickled Asparagus and frozen Asparagus soup til next season (unless we break down and buy stuff flown in from somewhere).

                                                        Thanks to everyone for the amazing suggestions. Next up : "Help with Peas" :-D

                                                      2. Steamed (about 7 minutes) then butter, sea salt and pepper.

                                                        Stir-fried - Cut in diagonal 2 inch pieces. Cut some chicken in small chunks, Maybe a little sliced onion. Put in a few tablespoons of Chinese black bean sauce (available in a jar at the grocery store), add the remaining ingredients. Add chicken stock as needed. Grind some white pepper as needed. Thicken with cornstarch and water mixture. Taste, if not salty enough add a splash of soy sauce. Serve over rice.

                                                        Broil or on the grill - toss asparagus with olive oil and sea salt. Broil or grill until done.

                                                        1. Steam asparagus until just done. Cut about an inch off the tips and shock in ice water.

                                                          Make an asparagus pesto: puree the rest of the spears with roasted garlic, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, toasted nuts, lemon or lime zest, parsley, salt and pepper.

                                                          Toss asparagus pesto with hot pasta and garnish with reserved spears. Top with additional cheese and/or nuts and or olive oil and/or pepperoncino.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: TomMeg1970

                                                            I like this asparagus pesto recipe, made with my favourite vegetable. I also make a spinach-basil pesto. I'm going to try kale pesto as I have a surplus, but I suspect it will overpower the basil or conflict with the basil's great flavour. Any one tried this?

                                                            1. re: rakip

                                                              Never tried kale in a pesto, but you know what they say "Surplus is the mother of invention" :-D. Seriously though, Arugula makes an excellent pesto.

                                                              1. re: rakip

                                                                i love kale pesto, but basil does tend to get lost in it. there's really no need to use herbs at all, but if you want an herby flavor in there use something more pungent/assertive like fresh oregano or mint.

                                                                for the nuts, it pairs well with pine nuts, almonds, cashews or walnuts...the natural sweetness of cashews and almonds is particularly good if your kale is on the bitter side.

                                                                oh, and be sure to blanch & shock the kale to soften it & set the color.

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  My technique for making kale (or other greens) pesto:

                                                                  Finely chop kale in food processor (you can throw all but the woodsiest of stems too).

                                                                  Saute some minced garlic in olive oil. When garlic is cooked, add kale and toss over medium heat until it's cooked to your liking. Sometimes I like a more green/raw flavor, and sometimes I'm in the mood for the mellower sweet flavor that comes from longer cooking. It's hard to overcook kale.

                                                                  Salt to taste. At this point I'd toss it with pasta and add some salty cheese and/or some kind of cured pork and/or beans or chickpeas and/or preserved lemon and/or chopped roasted red pepper from a jar and/or carmelized onions, and/or hard boiled or fried eggs...nuts are a great addition too. :)

                                                                  For this 'pesto' I think you can have a much higher pesto/pasta ratio than with basil pesto, so feel free to use a ton of kale. Rather than a pasta dish sauced with kale pesto, think of it as an intense vegetable dish, extended by the addition of pasta. If you make the variation with beans, you might not even miss the pasta if you left it out. This is also one of the rare occasions that I prefer whole wheat pasta.

                                                            2. Sorry your asparagus season has ended. We're just winding up ours here in Southern Ontario. I forgot to include an important spring element. Add fresh mint leaves, cut into ribbons (or torn) to the pasta-asparagus-olive oil-cheese melange. Here's to a good crop next year.

                                                              1. I enjoyed a version of eggs Florentine made with both spinach and asparagus this year.

                                                                Have also been using asparagus in frittatas, and in my current favourite pasta bake, along with dill, arugula & chevre/feta.

                                                                Lately, I've been topping freshly cooked asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, sometimes topped with snipped dill, cilantro or basil.