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Ten Ways to Enjoy Asparagus

By Allison Kociuruba, March 5, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Kociuruba
One of the surefire signs of spring is bright green asparagus standing at attention in the produce section. Pick up a bunch and take advantage of the nutrients (Vitamin C and folic acid to name a few) and antioxidants they provide. The key to enjoying this seasonal specialty is to use asparagus within a couple days of purchase as it is quite perishable (if you must store it, wrap fresh-cut ends with a damp paper towel and keep in your crisper drawer). Green asparagus is the most common variety we find but you might also see white asparagus (more popular in Europe), which is generally thicker. The varying thickness of asparagus stalks will affect cooking time. If very thick, peel the tough outer skin with a vegetable peeler to increase tenderness. With all of the ideas below, it should be easy to find a way to enjoy asparagus tonight! 1. Steam asparagus and top with a quick dressing of white miso, rice vinegar, reduced-sodium tamari and freshly grated ginger whisked together. 2. Add 1-inch pieces of asparagus spears to a pot of quinoa or rice pilaf about 5 to 7 minutes before it’s done cooking. The asparagus will gently steam while the grains finish cooking. 3. There’s almost nothing simpler than grilled or roasted asparagus (depending on the temperature outside!). Toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and spread on the grill or roast in a 400°F oven on a baking sheet until browned and tender. Flavor with chopped fresh parsley, freshly grated lemon zest and/or grated Pecorino Romano. 4. For a classic and simple appetizer, wrap steamed whole asparagus spears with thinly sliced prosciutto. 5. Cut 1 bunch of asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces, steam or sauté and toss with a light dressing of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, chives and a pinch of sea salt. 6. Pair asparagus and cheddar or gruyère in a rich and satisfying omelet or frittata. Here’s one of our favorites. 7. Make a tasty springtime stir-fry with garlic, green onions, radishes and asparagus spears. Add sliced chicken breast, pork tenderloin or shrimp, if you like. 8. Sandwich steamed asparagus spears between thick sliced fontina cheese and caramelized onions on two slices of French bread and grill or cook on a Panini press. 9. Make Quinoa Primavera with Chicken, Spring Peas and Asparagus, a quick and tasty weeknight meal full of spring greens. 10. Combine asparagus with broccoli in a bright and flavorful creamy soup (which, surprisingly, doesn’t require cream!). What’s your favorite way to enjoy asparagus?
Category: Food & Recipes, Produce

 

14 Comments

Comments

Linda Beckman says ...
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Used to pick it with my Mom in Illinois along roadsides. Happy memories.
03/09/2011 9:39:14 PM CST
Kim Carroll says ...
I LOVE to saute about 1/2 a bunch cut into 1 inch pieces with olive oil, then add Braggs aminos and two eggs and scramble. Sometimes I top it with a good cheese or tofutti sour cream! Yummy!
03/09/2011 4:53:27 PM CST
Kristy says ...
Sicilian Asparagus and Pasta 2 cloves thinly shaved garlic 1 thinly sliced small onion 1 pound trimmed aspagus spears lightly steamed 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons olive oil salt & pepper to taste pinch oregano 1 cup fresh tomato sauce or jarred 1 pound pasta cooked al dente _ I use angel hair but any will do Saute onion & garlic in butter and oil, season with salt, pepper & oregano, add aspargus spears and cook until just soft a bit. Heat sauce and toss with pasta, arrange asparagus sauce to the side or on top. Serve with generous amounts of grated pecorino romano cheese.
03/09/2011 3:55:02 PM CST
Tina-The Wellness War says ...
I love roasted asparagus! I prefer that to most other methods of preparation.
03/09/2011 4:02:15 PM CST
Chris says ...
I like to to either steam them and then dip them (well I don't mean the whole asparagus) into a home made mayonnaise, or stir fry just until they are nice and crunch and serve on top of a rice pilaf. Recently I have tried sprinkling a couple of grilled asparagus with gruyere cheese and wrapping them in a crepe; one crepe for each person; sprinkle the wrapped crepes with freshly grated Parmesan and bake for about 15 minutes at 375. The results are pretty good!
03/09/2011 4:28:47 PM CST
TheGourmetCoffeeGuy says ...
Great post. Asparagus combined with other vegetables or by themselves make a great, healthy and delicious meal. Nice photos.
03/06/2011 10:39:35 PM CST
Megan says ...
I usually just steam it and then toss it with some butter and salt and pepper. For parties, I do something similar to #4. I'll wrap steamed asparagus and a little bit of cream cheese inside a slice of deli ham and then just pop them in the oven until the ham browns and the cream cheese starts to melt.
03/09/2011 11:26:22 AM CST
Martha says ...
I love pan sautéing them with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. When they're about 2 minutes from being done I add some fresh lemon juice and let them simmer a bit. For me, they're done perfectly when they've still got a bit of crunch to them! It's my absolute favorite way to prepare them... I actually had some last night :)
03/09/2011 11:32:54 AM CST
campm says ...
LOVE roasting asparagus as described above, but I add sliced shallots and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast before the baking pan goes into the oven. The nutritional yeast lends a buttery, savory flavor while the shallots provide a bit of kick.
03/09/2011 1:01:27 PM CST
Joe @ Eden Kitchen says ...
I love this recipe for Bulgur with Asparagus and Roasted Feta: http://edenkitchen.com/bulgur-with-garden-vegetables-roasted-feta/
03/13/2011 10:35:14 PM CDT
Daniel Davis says ...
Do it the Alton Brown way: sprinkle some kosher salt over them and wrap those bad boys up in a wet paper towel. Microwave for about 4 minutes (perhaps longer if they're thick), and voila.
03/10/2011 5:50:12 PM CST
Kristy says ...
Lemon Cream Aparagus Soup 1 pound chopped asparagus (save the tips for garnish) 1 lemon, juiced and some shaved rind 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup half and half 1 cup milk 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth salt & pepper to taste 1 shallot, minced 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon fresh mionced or dried parsley 1/2 teaspoon thyme Saute the shallot in butter in the bottom of a large soup pot, add the broth and asparagus, simmer until soft and puree with a stick blender. Add everything else and simmer a few momnets, adding the asparagus tips at the last minute to soften them.
03/09/2011 3:49:53 PM CST
Conscious Living says ...
I love my asparagus-lemon-artichoke pasta. I like to steam my asparagus well so that it becomes tender. Here is the recipe: http://conscious-living.co/blog/2011/03/15/asparagus-lemon-artichoke-pasta/.
03/15/2011 9:26:58 PM CDT
Beckye says ...
These sound fabulous! Thanks for posting!
03/08/2011 12:22:08 AM CST