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I agree with YankeeCat about raw asparagus. They can get huge in a home garden and still be tender and delicious. If they do make it into the house, and you leave them raw, a homemade or good mayonnaise with garlic, pepper, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice is nice. Another version is to puree or mince and add roasted or grilled red peppers to the mayonaise.
Raw is good if it's fresh but for the store bought stuff I like it tossed in peanut oil, grilled a little and sprinkled with Johnny's salt and Parmesan. You don't want to overcook them though, they turn stringy instead of crisp in the middle.
We like to put asparagus stalks on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil and some garlic, and bake them until they start to brown. You can leave out the lemon juice and/or use grated cheese, too. For us it's a great way to use the unblanched frozen asparagus from last year, but it's great with fresh asparagus, too. Someone also suggested this:
1 ˝ lbs. fresh asparagus
˝ cup water
2 tsps lemon juice
˝ teaspoon kosher salt
Rinse asparagus and snap off the tough ends if needed. Place in a large stockpot and cover with water.
Bring water to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork. Drain well.
Place asparagus in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add water, lemon juice and salt. Process, adding more water if necessary, until puree is thick and smooth. (You may need to process the asparagus in 2 batches). Pour puree into dated freezer containers when cool. Cover and freeze. Use within a year.
You can use this sauce in many ways. Mix cooked pasta with 1 cup of the sauce and 1/2 cup grated cheese and a few chopped walnuts for a springtime "pesto". You can also make a lively cream of asparagus bisque with 2 cups of sauce, 2 cups milk, 1/2 tsp coarse salt, 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper, a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and lemon juice to taste.
Have any of you tried asparagus with scrambled eggs?????
I use 5 eggs, beaten, place cut asparagus into skillet with 2 tbs canola oil, pour in the beaten eggs and cook stirring until eggs are done. Salt and pepper to taste.
When we have misshapen asparagus I always cut it up and freeze it that way for eggs. (The pretty stalks get frozen whole.) We sauté ours in olive oil with garlic first. Sometimes we add grated cheese, too.
This is delish. You can get quinoa from whole foods or health food stores. It's a wonderful grain. This makes a ton and quinoa is a whole protein all by itself so it's great for vegetarians too.
In this delicious, healthy dish, nutty quinoa is paired with the bright flavors of asparagus and lemon. Feta adds a salty tang.
2 cups quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 ounces feta, crumbled
Juice of 1 lemon
prep: 10 minutes
total: 45 minutes
large sauté pan
1. Bring 4 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in medium saucepan. When the water boils, add the quinoa and stir. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, 15-20 minutes. Set aside covered for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it's hot and shimmering, stir in the shallot. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot is light brown, 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the asparagus and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is tender but still bright green, 8-10 minutes. (Add a tablespoon or so of water halfway through cooking to steam the asparagus a little).
4. When the asparagus is done, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the quinoa, then the crumbled feta, lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
My mother used to overcook asparagus, boiling the dickens out of it. When microwaves came into our lives, she was just amazed at how mine would stay green instead of avocado colored - and with a crisp texture!!!! I have moved on to the pan searing and loving it even more!!!!
I hear you wannadanc...my MIL eats only canned veggies, and even then cooks 'em to death. Ugh.
Thanks for the quinoa recipe doss, I've been meaning to get that grain on to my table. Hubby wants mashed potatoes...every single night, after night, after night...I'll pick up some quinoa and get it a try.
Oh, Mary, I hadn't even thought about canned veggies!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!! I can still manage canned corn and even canned green beans, but don't EVER run a canned pea past my plate! It is a wonder we ever ate any of them. I suspect I could still "do" canned spinach with butter and vinegar, but it has been decades!!!!
Yeah, I can only do canned corn, sometimes one whole kernal mixed with one of creamed corn. Otherwise, no way jose! Everything else at her house is fried in bacon grease...I mean EVERYTHING. And well done too...did I mention she's an 86 year old Alabama lady? That's how it was done there and then.
The first time I ate asparagus it was served with Hollindaise (sp) sauce. It was really good. I have eaten it with bacon wrapped around spears and baked. This was good too. I love asparagus, my favorite vegetable, even though I never ate it until I was grown. We didn't eat it in our house in south Georgia, but my brother and I both love it now.
I have heard that canned vegetables contain more of their vitamins than frozen as they are canned right in the field. I eat some canned veggies, like canned black-eyed peas (I always cook dry peas mushy), canned lesuer baby green peas in a pea salad,
canned tomatoes for soups and stewed tomatoes over rice. Some frozen I like too, but I just cook small amounts as I am by myself.
I'll bet that all of you are great cooks!
laneybob, I wasn't thinking of canned beans and tomatoes, those I eat too pretty much same as you do. It was peas, carrots, green beans, beets and asparagus that was on my mind for canned veggies. Never thought of using those lesuer's in salad. That's a good idea.
Just saw this asparagus recipe in a recent Cooking Light magazine:
Browned Butter Asparagus Hands on time 8 min. Total time 18 min. A hint of tarragon adds a unique, fresh flavor to the dish but you can use any herb you like.
Asparagus in my childhood became a frequent dish when my folks found places to pick it along the irrigation ditches in the orchards over on the other side of the mountains. It was considered a "weed" when it set foot in those areas, so it was like hunting mushrooms or berries - part of the hunter/gatherer style of living!!!!
We've been freezing asparagus for about a week now; I just cut it to size and stick it into freezer bags and thence into the freezer. There are some "wild" asparagus plants by the river that were here when we first built our house many years ago, and they still produce well. I have tried but I really can't taste a difference between those and the ones we've put in the garden, which is really odd.
I make an asparagus and strawberry salad. I just blanch the asparagus for 3 minutes and mix with strawberries and a very light balsamic vinagrette. I also sprinkle with a little Murray River Salt and dried fennel.
You are making me hungry for asparagus. We have to buy it now because our bed just ran out. Don't really know why. So, we tilled it up, roots and all. Then replanted to other veggies. Well, after awhile the asparagus started coming up here and there around the other veggies. I swear, we should have just let it regrow, but we didn't. We tilled again this year. I am talking raised beds here. I miss the spears coming up, but you know, there just weren't enough anymore and I needed that bed for more productive veggies. I think our winters are not cold enough here. Even though our soil is light, it still compacts. Maybe those are the reasons it didn't do well.