Asparagus is one of the vegetables that signals the start of Spring, and it’s here! We have fresh asparagus available at the farm for $4/lb.

Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. It’s a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This unique vegetable is also packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.

Buying & Storing Asparagus

Choose firm, bright green asparagus stalks with plump, tightly closed tips. Fading color is a sign of deterioration. Check the stem ends to make sure they look freshly cut, not shriveled or dried out.

Uncooked asparagus will stay fresh for four to five days in the refrigerator if stored properly. The secret is to keep the vegetable cool and damp. Store spears upright in a container with the stems wading in an inch of water, then cover loosely with a plastic bag. Easier still, wrap the ends in moist paper towels and drop the bundle into a plastic bag.

Asparagus Recipes

Roasted Garlic Asparagus
easternncasparagusOne of our favorite preparations is Roasted Garlic Asparagus. It’s simple and quick!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped parsley
  • 2 pounds of asparagus, bottom ends trimmed off
  • coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a large roll pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a small pot, heat the oil, garlic, onion powder and parsley on medium-low heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until the garlic mixture is fragrant but not browned.
  4. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the prepared pan. Lightly sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle on the garlic oil mixture.
  5. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the asparagus are bright green; do not overcook.
  6. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.

Source: Epicurious, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-garlic-asparagus-364212

 

Balsamic Asparagus
greenvillencasparagusAnother favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of asparagus, bottom ends trimmed off
  • 1 tablespoon oil of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Prep:

  1. Preheat oil in frying pan on medium-low heat.
  2. Add asparagus and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Move asparagus around in the pan to cook evenly.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with black pepper and remove from heat.
  4. Cover and allow a few minutes for the flavors to develop. Serve warm.