Asparagus season is short, so rush out to the market and get your asparagus while you can. Then cook it in one of these delicious ways.
It always gives me a lift when I’m trawling the shuk for local vegetables and see bundles of delicate green and purple asparagus spears. I love it for its flavor, but there are other reason to love asparagus. In fact, asparagus is said to create love and lust, just like wild oats (here’s our springtime recipe for wild oats tea). Its phallic look is the reason, but personally I think it has more to do with the healthy-giving properties of the vegetable. As we’ve said, the right diet helps libido.
And asparagus has plenty of minerals, amino acids and vitamins, particularly vitamin C, to keep our energy high and our eyes bright. Plus, it’s a low-calorie vegetable, so if you avoid blanketing it with hollandaise sauce, you come out winning every time.
The best recipe are those that feature asparagus as the lead star. Hints of nuts and aromatic flavorings make delicious accents, but to extract the most from this green delicacy, choose cooking methods that allow its flavors to shine almost alone.
2 pounds fresh asparagus
¼ cup butter
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
In a pot large enough to contain the asparagus placed sideways, boil plenty of salted water. Lay asparagus in and cook 2 to 3 minutes, covered. Remove from hot water immediately and rinse under cold water. Drain.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until liquid reduces and becomes cohesive, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and pour over asparagus. Serve immediately.
Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts
Choose thick spears for roasting; thin ones will become tough in the oven.
500 grams – 1 lb. thick asparagus spears, tough bottom ends snapped off
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly-ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
zest of 1 orange
1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 400 F – 200 C.
Cover a baking pan with baking parchment.
Place asparagus spears in a single layer in the pan.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic and orange zest over the asparagus and rub the spears to distribute the seasonings.
Scatter walnut pieces over all.
Roast for 8-10 minutes. When finished, the spears should be easily pierced with a fork.
Asparagus in Beer Batter
2 pounds asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 (12-ounce) can beer
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
Combine flour and seasonings in a large bowl. Add beer and stir until combined. Allow the batter to rest 1/2 hour.
Heat oil till shimmering.
Dip asparagus in beer batter and gently lower into hot oil. Fry 2 minutes , turn pieces over, and fry another 4 minues. Drain on paper towels and serve.
More recipes on Green Prophet:
Photo of roasted asparagus with walnuts by missy & the universe via Flickr.