I really hope you folks are getting into the fresh asparagus season like I am. Almost every meal for a week I have had some form of asparagus. I guess some may think that I will tire of eating asparagus but the season is so short for really good asparagus, fresh asparagus that is, that I feel the need to take advantage while I can. Nowadays we can get any fruit or vegetable at the market, any time of year”it is in season somewhere” I’ve heard. But to really taste what a fruit or vegetable really is – is to either grow it yourself or get it local when it is in season.Although short, asparagus season is just long enough to gorge on these tasty spears at every meal. Whether in an omelet for breakfast or shaved raw into a salad for lunch or simply grilled for dinner. Before we know it the good stuff will be gone and the over farmed, way out of state stuff will be left limp and wilted in the produce section of some big box corporate store.Here are a couple more asparagus recipes that I have played around with this past weekgive them a try and get into the asparagus spirit before it’s all gone for another year.
Arugula Salad with Asparagus and a Strawberry Vinaigrette
· 6 cups fresh baby arugula
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· ½ cup walnuts
· olive oil, to drizzle
· kosher salt, to taste
· ½ lb fresh asparagus
· 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
· 1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
· 1 recipes strawberry feta vinaigrette, see recipe belowDirections:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Toss walnuts with a little oil and season with salt.
3. Place in an iron skillet/ baking pan and roast until fragrant, about 8 minutes, turning occasionally.
4. Make Strawberry Vinaigrette according to recipe.
5. Snap off bottom end of asparagus where it naturally breaks.
6. Holding the asparagus just under the tip begin shaving stalk end with a vegetable peeler.
7. Peel, rotating after each stroke, asparagus until it breaks naturally, leaving shreds and tips, keep separate.
8. Repeat on remaining asparagus.
9. Place shaved asparagus in a mixing bowl, drizzle with a little strawberry vinaigrette and season with salt.
10. Place arugula on separate plates or on a serving platter, top with shaved asparagus.
11. Top with walnuts, feta cheese, strawberries, a drizzle of strawberry vinaigrette and serve.
Strawberry Feta Vinaigrette
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups · 1 cup canola oil
· 1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed and halved
· 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
· 1/2 tsp kosher salt
· 1/4 tsp white pepper
· 2 tsp honey
· 2 Tbsp feta cheese crumbledDirections:
1. Place the halved strawberries in a blender, puree until smooth. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and honey.
2. Blender until combined and slowly add oil until all has been incorporated.
3. Pour into a bowl and stir in the feta cheese.
4. Store in refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days or use immediately.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
1 lb fresh asparagus, about 16-18 stalks
16-18 slices prosciutto, very thin sliced or one slice for each stalk of asparagus
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Chef Troy’s Spice Mix or salt/pepper, to taste
zest of lemonDirections:
1. Cut or snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and place on a baking sheet.
2. Drizzle with olive oil, mix to lightly coat and season with Spice Mix.
3. On a cutting board lay a piece of prosciutto diagonally and place on a single piece of asparagus.
4. Roll up covering as much of the stalk as possible leaving the tip exposed.
5. Place back on baking sheet, seam side down and roll all remaining asparagus.
6. After all the asparagus has been wrapped place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
7. Preheat grill for direct heat grilling to medium high heat.
8. Place directly on grill, cook until slightly charred and asparagus is heated through.
9. Remove from grill, place on a serving platter, drizzle with a little olive oil.
10. Grate lemon zest on asparagus.
11. Can be served hot or at room temperature.