When you are purchasing asparagus, look for firm, fresh, spears with closed, compact tips and uniform diameter and color.It does not matter whether the spears are thin or thick, different varieties have different diameters.
The spear on the left has a compact tip, the one on the right has begun to bud. If left in the ground each bud would branch out and develop a fern-like appearance.
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Asparagus is a favorite in our household, but some people find asparagus bitter. The sweetness of the basil in the following recipe neutralizes the harsher tones of asparagus.
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 green onions, diced
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh
dash of pepper
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add green onions; cook 2 minutes. Add asparagus, agave, pepper and lemon zest. Cook for about 5 minutes, until asparagus is tender, yet still slightly crisp. Add basil; cook for one minute more. Serve immediately.
Compilation of Asparagus Recipes
I am collecting asparagus recipes in anticipation of our crop this spring. Below are some recipes that either I use or readers have shared. If you have a favorite asparagus recipe, leave it or a link to it in the comment section and I will add it to the list.
Side Dish Recipes with Asparagus
Grilled Asparagus from Dark side of the Fridge – If you’re in an area where grilling is an option, one of our absolute favorite things to do with asparagus is to just coat spears in some olive oil, salt & pepper and maybe a little minced garlic, then grill it carefully – I like to use a sheet of aluminum foil on the grill. It’s so simple, and so tasty!
Debbie from Dining with Debbie loves to mix the green, white and purple varieties for grilled asparagus. It makes for a really pretty dish.
MoPane at Art of Adventure likes to simmer asparagus with water, a splash of lemon juice, some ginger, pepper and garlic.
Her father prefers his vegetables a little more decadent, so he usually oven roasts his asparagus with a drizzle of butter. When the asparagus is just cooked, he tops them with a little bit of fancy cheese or cheese spread and broils it for a few minutes. He’ll also add some walnuts or pine nuts every so often for some crunch. It’s a lot less healthy, but definitely good!
Going Green for Mimi likes to bake asparagus with chopped up garlic, salt and a bit of oil. It takes about 15-20 minutes on 375 or 400.
She also makes a tomato/asparagus salad with it. I steam the asparagus a bit, but try to keep a little bit of the crunch. I let it cool and then mix it with tomatoes, and sometimes mozzarella cheese (fresh). Then I add dressing. I usually just make an oil and vinegar dressing. Mix it up and serve it cold. You can add anything to it like onion, pasta, basil, anything works. 🙂
Complete Meals With Asparagus