Alright here we gothe season of fresh is underway. With a less than mild winter behind us spring has sprung in the best of ways. Great local strawberries may be a few weeks away but we are already seeing some great asparagus in stores and farmers markets.Anyone who grows asparagus will tell you that the season is short for a reason. “If you over-farm asparagus it is more than likely going to hurt next year’s crop as the root system will be depleted of the essentials to produced a normal size crop”, said one local area farmer.With that in mind, take advantage of the short season for asparagus. Grilled, steamed, sautéed, blanched, shaved raw, tossed into a frittata are all great ways to utilize asparagus. In the next couple of weeks we will be celebrating the asparagus season with lots of asparagus recipes. Here is a couple to get you started.
Asparagus & Potato Salad with Black Pepper Blue Cheese Dressing
3 lbs. red potatoes, cut into medium sized cubes
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces on the bias
1 each, red bell pepper, roasted stem and seeds removed, cut into stripsDressing
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, fresh cracked
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, plus extra for garnishDirections
1. Bring water to a boil, add salt, stir to dissolve and add asparagus.
2. Cook for 30 seconds, remove and place immediately into an ice bath.
3. Drain and place in refrigerator on a paper towel lined plate until ready to assemble salad.
4. Place potatoes in stock pot and cover with water.
5. Place pot on stove over high heat and set timer for 30 minutes.
6. Check potatoes with a knife, if it slides out easily the potatoes are done, if not continue to cook until tender.
7. Potatoes should retain their shape but be soft through the center.
8. Drain in a colander, set colander over a bowl and place in refrigerator until completely cool.
9. In a mixing bowl add the heavy cream, sour cream, vinegar, salt and pepper; use a wire whisk to incorporate.
10. Slowly add canola oil while whisking until all the oil has been added.
11. Stir in the blue cheese and refrigerate until potatoes are cooled.
12. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl with the asparagus, roasted peppers and about half of the dressing.
13. Fold carefully to coat, adding more dressing if needed.
14. Store in a bowl fitted with a lid in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
15. To serve, garnish with extra crumbled blue cheese.
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
to drizzle, extra virgin olive oil
to taste, Chef Troy’s spice Mix or salt/pepper
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.