Hooray for a vegetable M likes! Well, I convinced him he likes. Loads of vitamins and minerals (K & folate top the list) and super easy to prepare.
You have to cut off the woody bottoms before you use them but never fear – just hold the asparagus somewhere in the middle and at the bottom and bend it until it snaps. Like magic, it will snap where the woody part meets the tasty part!
I know that’s not really magic, but … well I like to believe it is.
1. Grill – this is what I most often do and, from what I can tell, what most people do by default – stick it in a fry pan, on a griddle, grill, BBQ – whatever you have heating for dinner that night and grill. Turn occasionally to cook all sides. It will have a gorgeous nutty scent (and flavour) when it’s done. You can add a little oil if you like, but I don’t. It’s delicious just plain grilled (and even more delicious if your salmon is in the same pan).
2. With soldiers at breakfast. You know your regular egg and soldiers? Try putting grilled asparagus to work as soldiers. Asparagus loves egg and egg loves asparagus – this is one of my favourite ways to use it!
3.Combined with prosciutto or bacon. I obviously don’t eat this one but as a former meat-eater, I know it works. You can grill or bake them wrapped in it, or you can use them together in a pasta or risotto. Even diced, fried up or grilled bits of the meat sprinkled on the grilled or baked asparagus would be great as a side dish. A few flaked almonds and a squeeze of lemon juice would be lovely to break it up..
4. Steam it. Or as I do because I can never be bothered steaming anything, I simmer it in the most shallow water, turning occasionally. Brings out a totally different flavour (sweeter rather than nutty). I’d imagine this is a more friendly flavour for kids.
5. As a risotto topping. I love grilling or ‘steaming’ the spears and roughly chopping them into bit-sized chunks as my ‘something green’ on a risotto. I usually do it on mushroom or pumpkin risotto, but I put parmesan in all my risottos, (except seafood), and parmesan is another friend of asparagus – so it pretty much always works well!
6. In an omelette. This will probably pop up a million times in my ’10 ways with’ posts. Almost anything can go in an omelette and they look super cute folded with little green spears sticking out of the ends! If you can sneak a little cream cheese in there instead of regular then all the better. Some smoked salmon as well? Even better!
7. Use in salad. Yes, you could do the cooked spears in a salad obviously, but try shaving it on a plane / the slicer side of your grater when raw for use in a salad. I love the taste of raw vegetables so I might a little biased, but it’s definitely an easy and quick way to use it, so I say worth a try.
8. Stir fry. Not necessarily with all your Asian greens and sauces, but alone, pre-chopped, with garlic or ginger, or both.
9. Use in tacos. Think about folding your taco and having the little spears stick out each end. The creamy yoghurt/sour cream/avocado that is so often in tacos will compliment the asparagus. It may not be traditional but hey, we can break tradition to save some waste! You could try them in my Mexican Lettuce Wraps.
10. In a vegetable stack. Grilled or baked asparagus layered with grilled or baked capsicum, red onion, eggplant, pumpkin and sweet potato and drizzled all over with a reduced balsamic (get your balsamic vinegar and simmer in a pot until only 1/3 of the original volume is left) is amazing! For a bigger meal, I love serving this on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes or garlic butter bean mash…
So what do we think – asparagus better than rocket?
I have to admit personally, I like rocket better! But it’s an easy green to prepare and always handy finding something healthy both M & I like to eat.
Have a beautiful Monday,