Friday Feature: Asparagus (+ one more hard-boiled egg)

Nothing says Spring like asparagus. We eat as much as we can from March to May–or as long as our supplier offers it. Eating seasonally is like that.  We gorge on the stuff for the few months it’s available. And when we can’t possibly eat any more,  the season is over.  It’s amazing how it always seems to work out that way.

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Asparagus is extremely versatile. Great roasted, grilled, stir-fried and steamed. Hot or cold. Just right for soups, salads or sides. Nice addition to risotto and other grain dishes.  I even had it on a sandwich last week at Outer Aisle’s new cafe.

How to select asparagus:

  • Purchase as close to harvest as humanly possible for best flavor.
  • Choose firm, dark green spears, thin or thick, and you won’t be disappointed.
  • Check the bottoms.  If they’re dried out looking, chances are they’re old.
Looking good!

Looking good!

One of the simplest ways to prepare asparagus is by roasting.  And if you have at least one hard-boiled egg left from your Easter egg hunt, you can whip up a dish you’ll be proud to serve to guests.

Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Vinaigrette

  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 T. olive oil, or a little less depending on preferences
  • fresh ground salt/pepper
  • vinaigrette, homemade
  • hard-boiled egg, diced small (dice yolk and white separately for nice contrast)
  • parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Trim bottom ends off asparagus since they can be “woody”. One method is to hold each end of a spear and gently bend until it snaps at its point of tenderness. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience for this process.  I simply chop off a quarter or so from the bottom.

Place trimmed spears in a single layer in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and grind on fresh pepper. Toss in the pan and spread out evenly.

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Roast for approximately 15 minutes.  Could be more.  Could be less.  Check with a fork for tenderness. Some of the tips may get a little crispy.  Don’t worry.

Let cool in pan a bit before plating them. Top with diced egg and drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with parsley.  Serve.

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