It’s Time for Delicate Spring Flavors!
When I see bunches of fresh green asparagus at my local Farmer’s market I know it’s time to trade in my winter meal mainstays for lighter spring choices. It's also time to forget any winter blues with warmer-weather fruits, vegetables and cooking staples that are healthy, easy to cook and bound to bring lots of sunshine to our plates!
Young tender green asparagus is a truly tasty, low calorie veggie that is packed with nutrients. It’s a great source for dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium and many essential vitamins (especially C and B6) as well as being high in antioxidants!
Asparagus stalks grow either thick or thin and both are delicious. The key is to select, straight, firm, and uniformly sized spears with closed tips which, when cooked should be slightly firm, tender and sweet!
As the peak asparagus season is relatively short, I suggest you enjoy lots of it while you can. You can cook asparagus in many different ways . . . lightly steamed, roasted or grilled, shaved and tossed into a salad, in soups, risottos, pastas, quiches or with various types of cooked eggs for breakfast.
My personal favorite is steamed and served with nothing more than a drizzle of premium quality Greek, extra virgin olive oil, a tangy zing of lemon and freshly chopped mild delicate flavored spring herbs such as dill, parsley and chives that are slightly onion-y without being overpowering.
Today’s recipe (just tap on recipe link) is a delicious Asparagus Salad that is easy2make and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare . . . and even less time if you happen to have some leftover hard boiled eggs from Greek Easter! For those of you who don’t like asparagus, try making the mustard “latholemono” (dressing) and enjoy it with chopped tender greens, boiled new potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, herbs and capers or perhaps with steamed fresh or warm smoked salmon, trout or eel!
I really hope you will enjoy Spring as much as I do . . . with all its bounty and delicate tasty flavors!
If you aren’t able to enjoy asparagus the day you buy it, store it in the fridge, upright with the stalks in a bit of cold water, like cut flowers.
Always remember that asparagus will continue to cook a bit, even after removed from boiling water or other method of cooking!
Asparagus is always best when neither under-cooked nor overcooked and served warm or at room temperature. Refrigeration dulls its flavor!
Asparagus is normally sold in ½ kg packages and this amount is enough for 2 main courses or 4 side dishes.