Six Years of Favorite Asparagus Recipes

At last! Asparagus season is here -- first with fat bunches from the grocery store, soon enough with thin spears that erupt from the earth almost overnight. Here are my favorite asparagus recipes, collected over six years now.

FIRST, A FEW ASPARAGUS (AHEM) TIPS
Asparagus is a member of the lily family!
Fat spears of asparagus are best for roasting. Save the skinny spears of asparagus for salads, quick sautées, steaming.
During the season, an Asparagus Steamer comes in handy. It cooks the asparagus standing up, the thick bottoms are closest to the heat and cook a little more, the tender tips are at the top and cook just to perfection.
Asparagus, especially home-grown asparagus, needs a really good cleaning, otherwise, the asparagus can be gritty. Soak the spears in cool water, then rinse under running water.
Spears of asparagus have a natural breaking point. Just hold a spear in both hands, gently bend the spear near the bottom, working your way up until it snaps naturally. Below the breaking point, the asparagus can be more woody and fibrous.
Yes, many asparagus eaters will notice an odor in their urine almost immediately after eating. No worries, it's natural and will go away. But it doesn't happen to everyone -- and not everyone is able to detect the odor!
White asparagus is common in Europe -- it's grown underground!
Early-season asparagus is noticeably sweeter than late-season asparagus. To compensate, try soaking late-season asparagus in sugar water (4 teaspoons sugar per cup of water) before cooking. This tip comes from the wonderful On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee.




AND NOW FOR THOSE ASPARAGUS RECIPES ...

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

HOW TO ROAST ASPARAGUS

There are so many ways to roast asparagus. For roasting, start with fat spears of asparagus. First, it's a question of timing.

SHORT ROAST Barely Roasted Asparagus

MEDIUM ROAST Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar (pictured)

SLOW ROAST Slow-Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms
But asparagus is a vegetable that 'plays well with others'. So far, I've been most enchanted by:

MUSHROOMS Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms (pictured)

LEMON Lemon Lovers' Roasted Asparagus

FETA Roasted Asparagus with Feta
Roasted Salmon & Asparagus
Or salmon. This is my very favorite spring supper, salmon and asparagus roasted together. The whole dish takes just ten minutes to throw together. It's just fabulous.

Roasted Salmon & Asparagus
from Kitchen Parade
Gorgeous Raw Asparagus Salad

ASPARAGUS SALAD RECIPES

But asparagus doesn't "have" to be cooked. For this quick salad, be sure to use the very freshest, thinnest spears of asparagus you can find. I recommend waiting for fresh, local asparagus early in the season for this salad, rather than relying on supermarket asparagus.

Gorgeous Raw Asparagus Salad (pictured)
Asparagus Tapenade
Usually a 'tapenade' is made with olives, like in my recipe for Olivada. Here it's made with asparagus. What a crowd pleaser!

Asparagus Tapenade
Asparagus Scallion Salad
This simple salad is over-the-top dreamy. It's topped with a cooked egg, so is a great after-Easter choice.

Asparagus Scallion Salad
Everyday to Elegant Asparagus Soup

ASPARAGUS SOUP RECIPES

When the weather's cold, a steaming bowl of asparagus soup really hits the spot and this has been my go-to recipe for many years. With just a couple of changes, it moves from an everyday rustic soup to something that's smooth and elegant. Gorgeous!

Everyday-to-Elegant Asparagus Soup
from Kitchen Parade
Spring Garden Vegetable Soup
Two other favorite soup recipes include tender bites of asparagus, yes, but also other spring and early summer vegetables.

Spring Garden Vegetable Soup with Asparagus, Artichokes, Peas & Spinach (pictured)

Finnish Sumer Soup
from Kitchen Parade
Fresh Asparagus with Aioli

PARTY ASPARAGUS

I learned the trick for cooking asparagus for a crowd from a former White House chef, now chef at the swankiest club in St. Louis. Another chef/friend shared the special ingredient trick for making hollandaise in a blender - which, before you scoff, is how Julia Child made hollandaise.

Fresh Asparagus with Aioli (pictured)

Asparagus with Blender Hollandaise
Asparagus Custard Tart

BRUNCH & LIGHT SUPPERS with ASPARAGUS

During spring, I look for recipes to work asparagus into every course, including breakfast. The tart and asparagus pudding look impressive (but take just minutes to make) and taste rich (but aren't, really). These are real winners --

Asparagus Custard Tart (pictured)
from Kitchen Parade

Whole-Wheat Asparagus Bread Pudding
from Kitchen Parade
Asparagus Noodles

SIMPLE-SIMPLE ASPARAGUS

To close, let me share a last couple of recipes, ones so simple they're hardly even recipes -- but just might surprise you with how good they are.

Asparagus Noodles (pictured)

Lemon Asparagus
from Kitchen Parade
Favorite Asparagus Recipes

THANKS!

I hope this list of favorite asparagus recipes is helpful. But if you still haven't found the one recipe you're looking for, yes, there are more!

~ more asparagus recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ more asparagus recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ A-Z of Vegetables ~




© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011


7 comments:

What a gorgeous looking collection of recipes. I just bought my first asparagus this week!

great post---i absolutely love asparagus and have been making it some new ways this Spring already. Can't wait to try some of your recipes :)

Yay, I knew that you'd start with roasted asparagus! Still a month or so to go here, I guess...

i love asparagus but for some reason my husband hates it. what kinda vegetarian is he?!?

I bought the asparagus steamer recommended here now how do I use it? I have a ton of asparagus coming on in my garden soon.

Brenda ~ Oh, I hope you LOVE It! Just wash/prep the asparagus as usual, breaking off the woody ends. Then put a little water in the bottom of the pot and bring it to a boil -- and then put the asparagus spears in, cut-side at the bottom, tips at the top. Cooking times will vary but I'd start checking after three minutes, then gauge from there. Let me know how it goes, our asparagus is still a few weeks away!

Thinking of doing the party asparagus - sounds yummy. Maybe you can tell me this - what is the difference between kosher salt and sea salt - I use the latter. Haven't yet been able to get an answer to this question.
Thanks, Lesley

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna