First Asparagus of Spring

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Grampy
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2004/05/10 16:03:38 (permalink)

First Asparagus of Spring

I just had my first local asparagus from nearby Hadley, Mass. We are in what is called the asparagus valley. I was exquisite. I cooked it in a risotto, but will also grill it and serve it atop grilled polenta and baked with fontina, among many other recipes -- undaunted by any side effects.

What's coming up in your neck of the farm, and how will you prepare it?
#1

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    chezkatie
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/10 16:20:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    I just had my first local asparagus from nearby Hadley, Mass. We are in what is called the asparagus valley. I was exquisite. I cooked it in a risotto, but will also grill it and serve it atop grilled polenta and baked with fontina, among many other recipes -- undaunted by any side effects.

    What's coming up in your neck of the farm, and how will you prepare it?


    The only thing coming up here in Maryland that I know of are the Cicadas which I am sure will be here in full force by Wed or Thur......who has some good Cicada recipes to share????
    #2
    mayor al
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/10 16:28:44 (permalink)

    Our Asparagus is in its second or third round. We have been enjoying it for a month now, and am real pleased at how the bed has developed in the three years since first planting. I think I like it best when I am riding the mower and have 3 or 4 stalks in my shirt pocket to munch fresh and raw as I do my duty.
    We transplanted our peppers (sweet) and tomatoes this past week. The locals all say to wait til after derby to put in the veggies...and they are right most of the time.
    On the fruit trees, most of the Apples will bear a small crop this year. a few, mainly the late ones like the Spies won't come around for anothe couple of years. Cherry trees are over loaded. Plums have a light crop.. may be a polination problem there, I will have to talk sex with them later this season.
    It is iris time, and Janet has some beautiful examples ...she has the green thumb for the flowers for sure.
    Finallly the squash is in and just breaking the surface as they start. it should be a good year!! Strawberries will be pickable in about 3 weeks. Grapes and Blackberries are showing tiny fruit...
    I love Spring.
    #3
    Sundancer7
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 18:38:42 (permalink)
    I love asparagus and we have been plucking shoots for several weeks. I do not love some of the things that it does to body chemistry. Picking peas, onions doing well, cabbage huge although it is cheaper to by it at Walmart than grow it, radish crop complete, tomatoes doing well, carrots up, okra up and growing small, peppers awfully small but that is regular and cucumbers growing fast.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #4
    Grampy
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 18:42:22 (permalink)
    I'm envious, but not green yet. I just came in from measuring my garden, because the evenings are still too cool here to plant.
    #5
    lleechef
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 19:19:05 (permalink)
    You guys are mean! Talking about veggies growing in May! Heck, we just got rid of the snow! But just wait, grasshopper, because soon it will be time for the 100 lb. cabbages and the lettuce as big as my......well, they're BIG! Nothing here yet from the garden.....too early....but the sun just set for the last time at 2AM in Barrow and will be up for another 84 days. Ah, these short/long summers in Alaska! Everybody enjoy their asparagus and other garden treasures......I'll eventually catch up.
    #6
    lleechef
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 19:27:52 (permalink)
    Grampy........I forgot to tell you about this one I used to serve in spring at the Black Cow as an appetizer.
    Grilled Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto with Charred Tomato Vinaigrette

    Grill the asparagus, take 5-6 depending on size and make a "bundle", wrap some nice prosciutto around. Top with Charred Tomato Vinaigrette. Nice combination of flavors and textures.

    For the vinaigrette: Halve Roma tomatoes, with a spoon, scoop out all the "innerds". Brush with olive oil on both sides and grill till just softened. Cool and dice. Add to your favorite vinaigrette made either with balsamic or red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
    #7
    Grampy
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 19:31:08 (permalink)
    Lleechef: Sounds great! And prosciutto de Parma is on sale this week. I needed something to go with the grilled hanger steak on Saturday, and this will be a perfect starter.
    #8
    seafarer john
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 21:49:21 (permalink)
    I'm just an old fashioned guy who likes old fashioned dishes. For Mothers Day I whipped up some hollandaise sauce and we buried our asparagus in it..
    #9
    lleechef
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 21:56:19 (permalink)
    Grampy, marinate the hangar steak and serve it SMOTHERED with mushrooms......crimini, oyster, shiitake, morels, white, chanterelles and any others you can find!
    DO try the grilled asparagus with prosciutto.........while in Iowa, "M'am, what's prosciutto?" Goofy Midwesterners!
    #10
    Grampy
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 22:17:10 (permalink)
    And, can you believe this, I found two morel mushrooms growing under the pines. I cooked them with olive oil, pancetta, garlic, and made a pasta topped then with that, fresh chives and some good freshly grated Parm. The world is good, at least here.
    #11
    lamertz
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 22:44:14 (permalink)
    Have maybe half a dozen spears in my ancient asparagus garden. Can't believe I haven't found mushrooms yet. Everyone else has. My friend at the general store brought in 6 POUNDS and she's hunting right next to me! I think I've lost my touch now that I'm a snowbird!But back to aspargaus.I love them grilled. I had them with good french feta and a little vinagrette and they were yummy.
    #12
    vinegarpie
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/11 22:49:53 (permalink)
    My family just had what we call the "spring trinity" for dinner. Morels and wild leeks from our woods and asparagus from the garden, sauteed in butter with a little white wine. Serve it with penne with a sprinkling of purple and yellow violets, wild garlic greens and our friend's parmesan cheese on top.

    There is a cicada cookbook online. It can be found at:
    http://www.urhome.umd.edu/newsdesk/pdf/cicada%20recipes.pdf

    Enjoying spring . . .
    #13
    emsmom
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/12 09:04:16 (permalink)
    We've been getting asparagus for the last couple weeks as well as strawberries. Our local farmers market has spring onions, radishes, leaf lettuce. I can't wait for a couple more weeks for all the other good stuff. Fresh vegetables and fruits can't be beat.
    #14
    Everythingbutwings
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/12 09:50:16 (permalink)
    Insanely jealous of you with asparagus growing in your gardens. Flashbacks to childhood, I remember being amazed at how fast the spears grow.

    Our local farmers market in Dale City, VA, is loaded with asparagus, spring onions and greens right now with strawberries just beginning to come in.

    Time to make ham, scalloped potatos, asparagus and hollandaise.
    #15
    berndog
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/12 10:39:26 (permalink)
    I'm also jealous. The only veggies in Upstate NY this time of the year come from Wegmans. I've only been mowing the lawn for 3 weeks. However, just had some strawberries that taste like they were picked in my own backyard. Have been enjoying asparagus all winter. I like to saute it in a little olive oil, margarine, and lemon juice with garlic.
    #16
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/12 10:40:16 (permalink)
    I have fallen in love with roasted asparagus. You just place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, some salt, and put them in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees for about five minutes.

    Speaking of how to prepare asparagus, in the food section of today's Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch a reader said she recently enjoyed asparagus wrapped in prociutto while dining in a local restaurant and she asked for a recipe so that she could make it at home.
    #17
    Lone Star
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/17 10:20:11 (permalink)
    Stir fried with a little garlic, onion and curry powder.
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    emsmom
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/17 10:51:17 (permalink)
    I'm having asparagus tonight. I prepare mine like Michael does. I'm also having fresh summer squash sliced lenghthwise and floured and oven fried. Yesterday, we had fresh half-runner green beans with new potatoes and cucumbers, tomatoes and vidalia onions. I love this time of the year when all of these good vegetables area available.
    #19
    jettababs
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/17 12:37:26 (permalink)
    We do our asparagus the same way as Michael, as well, with the addition of some smashed garlic. It's supposed to be served alongside whatever the main course is that night, but rarely makes it out of the kitchen because everyone snags the hot spears right off of the baking sheet. Might have to make some tonight, in fact.
    #20
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 03:18:20 (permalink)
    Dinner tonight was an enormous salad, inspired by a recipe from Alton Brown's Good Eats but changed slightly to accomodate a couple of cravings:

    BL(AA)T Salad

    1 head Romaine lettuce, roughly torn
    1 large bunch asparagus, snapped and cut into 2" lengths
    1 quart grape tomatoes, sliced in half
    2 Hass avocados, diced
    1 pound bacon
    1 loaf of dense wheat bread from the neighborhood bakery
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Italian dressing base (optional)

    Assembly:

    1. Bake the bacon on a rack in a half-sheet pan in a 425-degree oven until firm but still chewy, not shatteringly crisp.

    2. Slice crusts off bread loaf, then cut loaf into approximately 1" dice.

    3. When bacon is done, pull rack from pan and set aside to cool, then cut bacon into 1" slices. In salad bowl, toss bread cubes and aparagus in bacon drippings, then spread out on the pan the bacon was cooked in. Cook at 425 degrees for five minutes, until bread is lightly toasted and asparagus is perfectly done.

    4. Put half the tomatoes, cut side down, onto a nonstick skillet and cook slowly on medium-low heat until browned and soft, about five minutes.

    5. Put romaine, avocados, tomatoes (both raw and cooked), bacon, asparagus and bread cubes into the biggest salad bowl you have. Mix olive oil, vinegar and optional seasoning to form dressing, toss with salad and serve.

    Who said salad had to be healthy?
    #21
    RubyRose
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 11:14:16 (permalink)
    We started off the season with our "spring tonic" of baby dandelion greens with cream dressing and chicken-dandelion soup. They become too bitter once the flowers start emerging.

    We have had steamed, roasted, sauteed and stir fried asparagus, cream of asparagus soup, creamed asparagus and eggs on toast, asparagus omelettes and quiche, ham and asparagus pie, asparagus and enoki mushroom soup, topped with hollandaise, lemon-garlic and vinaigrette sauces, and a great salad of leftover asparagus and shrimp marinated in a mustard-dill sauce. Our entire family has had stinky pee for about a month.

    Now it's strawberry time here. Local ones are available all over the place. We will have them in about as many ways as the asparagus. Tomorrow night, we're making homemade strawberry ice cream.

    Florawise, we had our first bloom of our wisteria bush (2nd will be later in the summer). It's about 8 feet in diameter so the scent is really overwhelming. This weekend peonies should finally be open and also a beautiful mountain laurel bush, which is our state flower here in PA.

    Can you tell I love Spring too?

    Edit to add that I forgot the Jewel in the Crown - veal Oscar - sauteed veal slices, topped with steamed asparagus, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, topped with bernaise sauce. That combination of flavors is so delicate together, it feels like springtime to me and I make it every year at that time. Last year, it looked so good, I took a picture of it and would post it, except I don't have a photo site. If I could e-mail it to someone to make smaller and post, I promise it will make you salivate.
    #22
    emsmom
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 11:31:11 (permalink)
    Talking about "spring tonic", my Mom always prepared us a "mess"
    of poke salad. She would cook the greens and drain and wash to kill the impurities, then add cooked mustard greens. She would fry bacon or salt pork out and add the greens to the oil along with several beaten eggs. This always tasted wonderful with some cornbread and was supposed to be our spring tonic.
    #23
    fcbaldwin
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 12:32:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by RubyRose

    We started off the season with our "spring tonic" of baby dandelion greens with cream dressing and chicken-dandelion soup. They become too bitter once the flowers start emerging.

    We have had steamed, roasted, sauteed and stir fried asparagus, cream of asparagus soup, creamed asparagus and eggs on toast, asparagus omelettes and quiche, ham and asparagus pie, asparagus and enoki mushroom soup, topped with hollandaise, lemon-garlic and vinaigrette sauces, and a great salad of leftover asparagus and shrimp marinated in a mustard-dill sauce. Our entire family has had stinky pee for about a month.

    Now it's strawberry time here. Local ones are available all over the place. We will have them in about as many ways as the asparagus. Tomorrow night, we're making homemade strawberry ice cream.

    Florawise, we had our first bloom of our wisteria bush (2nd will be later in the summer). It's about 8 feet in diameter so the scent is really overwhelming. This weekend peonies should finally be open and also a beautiful mountain laurel bush, which is our state flower here in PA.

    Can you tell I love Spring too?

    Edit to add that I forgot the Jewel in the Crown - veal Oscar - sauteed veal slices, topped with steamed asparagus, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, topped with bernaise sauce. That combination of flavors is so delicate together, it feels like springtime to me and I make it every year at that time. Last year, it looked so good, I took a picture of it and would post it, except I don't have a photo site. If I could e-mail it to someone to make smaller and post, I promise it will make you salivate.


    RubyRose,
    I've emailed you where to send that picture and we'll see if we can get it posted here for you.

    Frank
    #24
    Grampy
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 12:57:23 (permalink)
    In spite of disapproving looks from my neighbors here in New England, I planted my vegetable garden nearly a week ago: a dozen varieties of tomatoes, 6 varieties of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash and zucchini, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and 3 types of basil (to go with the already thriving chives, sage, oregano, and mint). The permuations will be endless.
    #25
    lrbaldwin
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 13:09:43 (permalink)
    Here ya go, RubyRose

    #26
    mayor al
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 13:30:26 (permalink)
    Ruby,
    What an attractive looking plate that is. Thanks for sharing!
    #27
    RubyRose
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 13:36:50 (permalink)
    Thanks so much for posting Mr. RubyRose's birthday dinner, Linda, and welcome to Roadfood.
    #28
    lrbaldwin
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/20 13:41:43 (permalink)
    You're certainly welcome, RubyRose. Are there a lot of folks here who need a place to upload images? If so, I can set up something on one of my sites for easy uploading.

    Linda
    #29
    meowzart
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    RE: First Asparagus of Spring 2004/05/24 13:46:22 (permalink)
    I'm not sure what it is, but the asparagus I've had so far this season has been phenomenal. Truly delicious. I like it in soups, and I really like it the way Michael Hoffman likes it--Roasted. We had some roasted and served them warm over salad greens with some shaved Parmigianno. Heaven!!!
    #30
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