Food Friday: An Abundance of Asparagus


What a great time of year! You will be groaning under the weight of the asparagus harvest you will be hauling home from the farmers’ market in your re-usable bags this weekend. It’s asparagus time, and it’s time for a little asparagus boot camp to get you ready to enjoy all that copious sweet green goodness.

Asparagus might not be quite as versatile as the potato, but you can bake it, grill it, stir fry it, roast it, steam it, or toss it into a salad. How about some tasty tips in your eggs on Sunday morning? Don’t feel like a big dinner production? Get out a baking sheet and fire up the broiler. In a few minutes, with a judicious drizzling of olive oil, a smattering of salt, and a quick squeeze of lemon, you have an elegant dish that you can eat with your fingers out on the back porch as you count the first fireflies of the season. Seize the moment, and all the asparagus plenty that you can carry.

Roasted Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus
This is almost as much fun to prepare as our Big Love Pizza. It is time to get the grill out of the garage and back up on the back porch. Grilled asparagus is deelish and there are no cookie sheets to wash! Be careful that you don’t burn your fingers as you gobble up these rich, sweet asparagus spears.

Baked Asparagus
This isn’t quite as spring-y, but it is deeply satisfying. Who doesn’t love molten cheese?

Pasta with Asparagus-Lemon Sauce
Because we all have a vegan friend or two, and they will love this at your next dinner party:

And if you are not a vegan, but are ready to swim in lemon-y cream:

This recipe has a slightly simpler approach – cooking the asparagus along with the pasta.

Asparagus Toasts
Sometimes written recipes can just look so intimidating because every step is bulleted, numbered or set in bold-faced type. Heavens to Betsy! We make a lot of bruschetta because inevitably we have French bread that is stale-ish and should be tossed to the ducks if we don’t use it up soon. We slice it into rounds, and grill it under the broiler. Then we rub garlic cloves on the (cooled) crunchy toasty rounds. Then we drizzle the bread with a little olive oil, and pile on the chopped tomatoes, cilantro, basil, green onions and crumbled feta cheese before putting it back under the broiler to melt the cheese. Easy peasy, right? Now, go back to the step right after we rub the bread with garlic. Instead of piling on the vegetables, we schmear the bread with sweet fresh ricotta cheese, and plunk down some tender green asparagus spears, which we have trimmed to fit the bread. Back under the broiler. Then into our greedy mouths.

Now here is a many-stepped recipe:

Asparagus and Bacon
Of course, Martha would combine two of the best ingredients known to humans:

But I have saved the best for last: Asparagus Ice Cream. Yumsters.

“… asparagus, tinged with ultramarine and rosy pink which ran from their heads, finely stippled in mauve and azure, through a series of imperceptible changes to their white feet, still stained a little by the soil of their garden-bed: a rainbow-loveliness that was not of this world.”
-Marcel Proust

About Jean Sanders

Letters to Editor

  1. The asparagus garden at the foot of our 3000 tree apple orchard in chilly Vermont, produced beautiful and tasty spears well into June.
    Nowadays, we pray for local asparagus, eschewing the tasteless imports preying on our tastebuds.
    But, at least, the asparagus season fills our cache of rubber bands.
    Life is Good

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