Spring!!! It’s here, and hopefully to stay! I don’t know about you, but Spring is my favorite season (beside Fall). There’s just something so energizing about it. The days start getting longer, leaves on the trees start popping, flowers start blooming, birds and other animals are out making noise, and people are out and about, soaking up the 62 degree weather as if it were 80 out!
As if that weren’t enough… this is when we know fresh local produce, grown here on our farm and other local farms, is NOW in season! For us, Asparagus is the first crop, along with our potted herbs, that we grow and have available. Weather plays a huge role with the Asparagus, as it is necessary for warmer temperatures to keep the Asparagus coming. If and when the temperatures are cooler, it slows down the production, which we saw a couple weeks ago with that dreary, rainy weather.
If you haven’t had our own, or any local asparagus before… you are missing out!! It doesn’t even compare to any other asparagus. While it is always a great vegetable, you can taste the difference and freshness when it’s local. Green vegetables are a category that is classified as a whole usually. You either like them or you don’t! This goes for kids and adults alike. But, I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you gave it a try! The way you cook it can make all the difference in the world. You can roast it, grill it, sauté it, bake it, steam it, fry it, or even eat it raw! Want to disguise it for the kids? Make an Asparagus Pesto… toss it with some Pasta and Voila! If you don’t think that will work, try baking it and making Asparagus Fries! It worked for my kids and now they LOVE eating asparagus!
As a kid, I NEVER liked asparagus. You couldn’t get me to eat asparagus, spinach, peas or brussels sprouts! Now the only thing I won’t eat on that list is green peas. We all have our issues, right? As I got older and started cooking myself and beginning to be more open about trying new things, I gave more greens a chance. I actually started eating asparagus because it was our own and in season. First try and I was hooked!
I didn’t do anything fancy to make it. I did have an “asparagus steamer” that was given to me as a wedding gift collecting dust, so I pulled it out and figured I may as well use it now. Now I know not everyone has an asparagus steamer, but a large sauce pot will do just fine too! Just cut the ends off, place in pot, and fill with water just so it covers the asparagus. Place the cover on the pot and place on burner and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, give it 2-3 minutes in boiling water and then take off and drain. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and serve!! The hint to cooking asparagus and for best flavor… Don’t over cook it! It should be a vibrant green color. It’s just as simple to roast it. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (standard temp for roasting vegetables), line a baking sheet with tin foil (makes for easy cleanup), trim and rinse asparagus, place in a single layer on sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, toss and place in oven for 15-20 minutes. That’s it! Want to get fancy? After you take out of the oven, sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese! Roasting asparagus is now my “go-to” way to make it. Simple, easy, and delicious!
I have included a few links to some great ideas and recipes for the more adventurous route, which i highly recommend! Don’t wait too long to try theses though. Our own asparagus is only around now into early June!