Monday, April 6, 2009

Asparagus Spring

Asparagus is popping up in the grocery stores now, much to my delight. Look for thin shoots that are not dried out at the bottom. Ideally, the store will keep it on ice.

A nice way to perk up herbs and greens, and even asparagus, is to treat them like flowers. An hour or so before you want to use a limpish item, trim the bottom and put into a glass of cool water. I sometimes just put fresh herbs into water right away and keep them on the counter to double as a bouquet and to use whenever I see them.

Roasted Asparagus Two Ways

Preheat oven to 375.
Snap stalks off at the bottom where they naturally break.

First way: on cookie sheet, add olive and/or toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Roll stalks in oil mix and spread out evenly. Roast until tender and tops getting crispy, approximately 20 minutes.

Or: In a broiler grate/pan combo (usually comes with your oven), put a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of water. Put grate down and place stalks evenly on it. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and sprinlke with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, approximately 20 minutes.

Asparagus Strawberry Salad

I bunch asparagus
1 cup strawberries
Balsamic vinegar

Steam asparagus over water until bright green and just tender.
Cut into bite-sized pieces and put in a bowl
Cut strawberries in half or quarters, depending on size, and add to asparagus
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper