By: Halle On: April 22, 2016
Each spring, asparagus shoots burst up from the ground like little rising flags proudly displaying the seasonal emblem. With an official announcement from asparagus, we rejoice in warmth of the spring sun and in the flavor of those gorgeous green stalks. But it wasn’t until 1850 that the Americas were introduced to Asparagus officinalis, a flowering perennial species that has historically been used as both a vegetable and a medicine.
Known for its distinct flavor and diuretic qualities, asparagus is now a widely cultivated crop and is typically seen in three varieties: white, green, and purple asparagus. Composed of 93% water and low in salt and calories, these green shoots are also chock full of vitamins and nutrients, including: vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, zinc, dietary fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, selenium, and chromium.
The tip of each asparagus shoot is the most tender and most flavorful, while the cut ends tend to be woody and tough. Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis the XV, insisted upon nothing but the deliciously delicate asparagus tips – thus we have the dish points d’amour (love tips). For the vast majority of us not currently in a king’s favor, we typically prepare asparagus tips and shoots sans the woody ends (which should be trimmed or peeled), in a variety of interesting ways. Whether you stir fry it, grill it, roast it, pickle it, add it to soup, or even eat it raw in a salad, asparagus stands out with its distinct flavor profile.
We currently have the most deliciously sweet and juicy purple and green asparagus from COWHORN Vineyard & Garden. The COWHORN asparagus is so sweet and delicious you’ll want to eat each stalk raw like a carrot. And if you do manage to keep some of this seasonal delicacy around long enough to cook it, check out the mouth-watering recipes below:
Chicken and Asparagus Roulade
Cauliflower “Couscous” with Asparagus and Peas
Asparagus Gremolata with Orzo
Asparagus Antipasto Platter
Sesame Roasted Asparagus with Warm Pot Stickers
Roasted Asparagus and White Cheddar Béchamel with Hazelnut-Crusted Ravioli
Asparagus Strata with Zesty Mediterranean Garnish
Snow Pea and Asparagus Salad with Ginger-Cardamom Dressing
Asparagus and Bell Pepper Quiche
Chicken & Asparagus with Melted Gruyere
Garden-Fresh Asparagus Soup
Sichuan-Style Asparagus and Tofu Salad
Warm Farro Salad With Asparagus, Peas, and Feta
Raw Asparagus Caesar Salad
Fresh Herbs With Corn, Asparagus, and Chickpeas