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Seasonal Eats: Asparagus

  • Posted by SHFT on May 4, 2012 in Food
  • There may be no better way to eat than with the seasons. That's the time when food is at its peak in both freshness and flavor. The time when foods can be grown locally. When you can avoid eating fruits and vegetables shipped from halfway around the globe, which have ripened on their journey to your grocery store. Not only will seasonal food taste better, you will be causing less impact on the earth buying locally and in season.

    One of the first vegetables to make an appearance in the spring is asparagus. Asparagus is delicately flavored, simple to prepare, and chock-full of nutritional benefits. But don’t take this vibrant green vegetable for granted. It typically takes up to 3 years before being ready to harvest!

    Asparagus is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, many of the B vitamins, and fiber, among many others. This nutrient-dense food is thought to have anti-inflammatory, heart, and digestion properties, along with aiding in blood sugar regulation.

    Below you will find two ways to prepare asparagus. While it can be enjoyed and incorporated into a multitude of dishes, I like to celebrate its flavor in the simplest way possible.

    Steamed Asparagus [serves 2-4 as a side]

    You need:

    - 1lb asparagus, medium thickness
    - salt, pepper, and butter to top


    - Place your vegetable steamer in a large pot with about 1” of water and bring to a boil [covered].
    - While coming to a boil, wash your asparagus and trim the ends.  
    - Place in your steamer and cover the pot.  
    - Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-8min, until just tender.
    - Remove and top with salt, pepper, and butter if desired.

    Tip: To find the point on the stalk to trim - take one stalk and hold between your thumb and index finger at the base with one hand and about 2/3 of the way up with the other hand. Gently bend until it snaps, which is typically about 2-3” from the base. Chop all of the ends at the same point.

    Grilled Asparagus [serves 2-4 as a side]

    You need:

    - 1lb asparagus, medium thickness
    - 1.5t cooking oil
    - salt, pepper, and butter to top


    - Place your grill or grill pan over medium heat, about 350-375 degrees.
    - While heating, wash and trim [see above tip] the asparagus and pat dry.
    - Lightly coat with the oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper.
    - Place on the grill grates for 2-3min turning 3 times.
    - Remove and add more salt and pepper if desired.


    What’s next up on the list? Rhubarb! But in the meantime, check out the website Local Harvest, which offers loads of information on where and what foods you can find in your area.






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