My co-worker handed over a bunch of fresh organic asparagus,and I was excited. How best to serve this precious local delicacy that comes in tender green and purple spears? Let me count the ways…blanching,broiling,sauteeing,steaming –there are too many,so here are a few of my favorites.In addition to its delicate,earthy flavor asparagus is known to contain a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals,including Vitamins A,C,K,Folate,Iron and Omega 3 Fatty Acids –for the full data click on the USDA Nutrition Analysis.
Note:Before beginning,wash and trim the asparagus,not too much,just a few inches to remove the sinewy,woody ends of the vegetable. Also,pay attention to the thickness of the asparagus stems. All sizes are delicious,but larger stems take longer to cook. Visit the Co-op’s outstanding organic Produce Department to try fresh,Washington-grown asparagus in your own way!
Steamed asparagus is versatile. To make it:simply,bring some water to a simmer,then add the asparagus inside a steamer attachment (bamboo basket or metal steamer insert) and cook for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Combine the best of creamy butter,rich eggs and zesty lemon juice. Most cooking sources recommend using pasteurized eggs to reduce the risk of salmonella. As I’ve learned through personal experience,making Hollandaise sauce can be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be. When making this sauce in the traditional manner it is important to follow a specific set of instructions to craft a perfect texture and prevent the emulsion of egg yolks,lemon juice and butter from breaking. For a simpler,more easily achievable solution I offer this blender Hollandaise sauce recipe,adapted from Allrecipes.com. You will need:3 egg yolks,1/2 cup butter,1-2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice,and an optional dash of hot sauce or mustard. Cover and blend egg yolks,mustard/hot sauce,lemon juice for 5 minutes. Heat butter til it melts. Then turn blender on medium high and add melted butter in thin stream. The sauce should thicken. Serve immediately over steamed asparagus,or keep sauce resting in a pan of warm water to serve later.
Option 2:Unconventional Fusion Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce
Unexpectedly,this option is quick,easy and super tasty. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. You will need 1 bunch of asparagus,2 tbsp. butter,1 tbsp. soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange asparagus spears on baking sheet,then coat with your cooking oil of choice and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 12 minutes,or until tender. Meanwhile,gently melt butter in a saucepan over the stove. Remove from heat,then swirl in the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour the sauce over baked asparagus and serve warm,alongside grilled meats or seafood dishes.
Option 3:Grilled Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon
All right,you know where this is going. On the grill! Or preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Take a bundle of asparagus and season it lightly with olive oil and pepper. Then divide the bundle into groups of 4 spears and wrap with two slices of bacon to create a bacon ribbon,holding the asparagus together. If using oven,place the asparagus over a slotted broiler pan to strain out the extra bacon fat. Then cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. If using grill,cook 10 to 12 minutes until tender. Yummy! Posted by Claire on May 15,2012.