Thursday, March 03, 2011

IT'S SPRING!! Eat Some Asparagus

I am feeling better....not great, but better. As such, I've actually been able to get back to some cooking and baking. It's amazing how much attention my little family has given a batch of cookies or muffins now; when I baked all the time for them, they never seemed to care. Now some chocolate chip cookies makes me a rock star (although NOT from Mars--curse my lack of tiger blood).

Anyways, as I emerge from the tunnel of my self-absorbed state, I find it is spring. I couldn't be more excited about the coming fresh produce at the farmer's markets. And the first fresh thing I like to snatch up is asparagus.

We never ate much asparagus when I was a kid but I suspect that has more to do with the fact that it's a bit time consuming to grow and we never ate vegetables we didn't grow. After I got married, I assumed my health-hating husband would balk at the idea. I was wrong. It's one of the few vegetables he actually seems to like. And that good example has carried over to Thing 1 and Thing 2 (who got mad the other day because I cut hers up-she wanted it long and whole like everyone else's).

Asparagus is easy. Look for crisp stalks that aren't discolored (read: funny looking) on the tips. Green asparagus is supposed to be green; white should be white.  Neither should be yellow or grey. The end where they have been cut will be snapped off so don't worry much about that part. Also, the thinner the stalk, the more tender. The later into the spring you go, the less fantastic the asparagus.

When you are ready to cook the stalks, try this:

Rinse and shake off any excess water. Instead of cutting the ends off, bend the bottom of the stalk-it will snap off at the optimal point--meaning anything below that snapping point wouldn't really taste good. And if it just bends and bends and doesn't have a "snap point" toss it.

Place the stalks on a cookie sheet (I line mine with some foil for easy clean up). Drop a few pats of butter on the top and a sprinkle of kosher salt. That's all.

Pop into a preheated oven that's at 425. The thinner the stalk, the faster they will cook. Just check in every 5 minutes to stir up a little. A pound takes about 10 minutes to cook. The butter will melt all over and the asparagus will still have a little crunch. It's ready to serve.

Happy Spring, everyone....


Erin said...

Yay! Welcome back! I love asparagus!

akr said...

Welcome back to the world of food! So glad!

Sara said...

oh happy day, you're back!