Asparagus is in season...so it is usually in abundance and on sale. Plus asparagus is on the Environmental Working Groups "Clean Fifteen," which means it is low in pesticides. Purchasing conventional asparagus saves even more money.
Asparagus is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and an amino acid which acts as a natural diuretic. (Leeks, included in the third recipe, are also a natural diuretic.)
When I am tempted to buy several bunches (which I did this week), I get home needing several ways to cook the asparagus. Here are my 3 favorite:
1. Traditional steamed: If you are planning to eat the steamed asparagus as a finger food, buy the thicker stalks. If you are planning to eat with knife and fork, purchase the thinner stalks.
Rinse. Snap off the hard ends. If using thicker stalks for finger food, you may want to peel the lower half with a vegetable peeler. (Or when eating, just hold the end and eat down to the tough area.)
Either place asparagus in a steamer or in a shallow pan with a little water so the asparagus does not stick to the pan. Do not cover the asparagus completely in water. Boil the water, cover the pan, and steam for 2-4 minutes.
Serve with mayo, flavored olive oil, no-salt butter, or even salsa. Delicious chilled the next day, too.
2. Traditional roasted: Best to buy the medium or thick stalks. Though, I have roasted then stalks and the results are acceptable. Rinse, pat dry, and snap off the tough end. Toss with olive oil and herbs of choice.
Line a baking sheet or shallow pan with parchment. Roast at 475 degrees F for 10 minutes, stirring once.
(If you are roasting other vegetables, add the asparagus for the last 10 minutes, as other vegetables usually roast for 15-20 minutes.)
3. Frittata with Leeks:
2 leeks, white/light green parts, cut/washed
One bunch of asparagus washed and cut into bite size pieces (again, removing tough end)
1/2 onion diced
Saute these veggies until soft, in coconut oil preferably
Hand whip 6 eggs with herbs of choice
Pour egg mixture over the veggies. Cook until bottom is set.
Add shredded cheese on top. *
Then cook in 350 degree oven until top of egg/cheese is set.
Enjoy for dinner or the leftovers for breakfast or lunch.
(*If you are wanting to rid your body of excess water retention, limit the amount of cheese you use in the frittata.)
So, there we have my 3 favorite asparagus recipes. Please share yours!