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Tis the Season to Eat Asparagus. (Almost.)

Posted Mar 04 2011 3:21pm

Asparagus is not yet in season here in upstate NY, but we’ve been eating it recently despite this small fact because I think I’ve been brainwashed into doing so.

The stores always seem to jump the gun with the holiday decorations and seasonal merchandise – loading up shelves with pastel candy and green beaded necklaces, months in advance of a fertile rabbit assembling baskets with treats or some dude named Patrick getting ready to chase snakes out of Ireland.  It only follows that one might feel compelled to get a jump start on seasonal produce too, right?

In fact, I think I’m going make a proposal that grocery stores begin decorating their vegetable aisles with the coming attractions well in advance of their arrival too.  Those would be some garnishments I could get next to!  Giant pea pods hanging from the ceiling, wearing bunny ears or holding bouquets of spring flowers?  Streamers made from arugula, chard and beet greens?  Signs declaring “Asparagus is coming!  ASPARAGUS IS COMING!”  (Or should it be “Asparagi are coming”?  What’s the plural of asparagus?)

Well, whatever.  It’s their creative loss.  Better to keep the impending local deliveries of cheap asparagus on the DL from those not in the know anyway.  More for me.

Asparagus hangs out in my fridge in a jar half full of water until it’s chow time. I stole this idea from Wegmans – except there, asparagus lolls about in troughs of water instead of its own, private wading pool.

Asparagus Jar

This keeps the tips looking nice and luscious, instead of dried out and flaky.  I’m suddenly reminded ’tis the season for hand lotion too.

To find the perfect length for trimming the asparagus, lightly pinch the middle and end of the stalk between each pointer finger and thumb and bend lightly:

Asparagus Bend

until it snaps.

Asparagus Break

Yes, one stalk at a time.  If you find this boring or tedious, just return your meditative vegetable prep .  It’s going to be alright.

From private pool to personal sauna, an easy and simple way to cook asparagus is to steam it.

Getting Steamy in Here

Bring a couple of inches of water to a boil in a large pot, drop in a steamer basket followed by your perfectly trimmed asparagus.  Cover and steam for maybe 5 – 8 minutes, or until you reach your desired level of mushiness.

Now what do to with these leftover guys?

Destined for the Juicer

Compost, juicer , or maybe some garland for your entry way?  You decide.

On this day I chopped up my steamed asparagus and loaded on a quarter of diced avocado and a little salt, to be served with a bowl of leftover Spicy Red Lentil Chili , topped with another quarter of avocado and a sprinkling of pepper jack cheese.

Steamed Asparagus with Avocado

A simple dish, but one still totally worth decorating for.

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