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Asparagus

Note: Good source of vitamins A and C, potassium and dietary fiber and low in sodium. Four  spears contain only about 15 calories. Asparagus can be roasted in the oven for 30 to
45 minutes, too. Just peel as below and drizzle with some olive oil.  See Sauces for Vegetables, and Vinaigrettes and Dressings for drizzling or marinating and Chicken Salad Tarragon for a nice light springtime meal.

Other ideas: Sunset Vegetarian Cookbook pairs cooked asparagus with onions, mushrooms, and wild rice and a vinegar and oil dressing.  Moosehead Restaurant combines asparagus or green beans and penne pasta with a Dijon vinaigrette, roasted red peppers, capers, and crumbled goat or feta cheese.

Source:   Family Circle 5/17/88

1. Gently bend asparagus spear near stem end til spear snaps; spear will break where tender part ends. Remove scales with small knife.
2. If thick ends of spears are tough and woody, peel off outer layer with vegetable peeler or small paring knife. Peel just to point where outer flesh becomes tender. Save peelings for the soup pot.
3. This cook prefers steaming asparagus in a regular steamer to preserve what few nutrients it has. To cook spears loose in pot, fill skillet with water and salt and bring to boiling. Add asparagus and return to boiling. Cook, uncovered til spears are done 5-8 minutes for medium-thick spears; 8-10 minutes for large spears. Lay on paper towel to drain.
4. To cook upright, tie 1/4 of spears with kitchen twine. Repeat with remaining asparagus. Pour water into bottom of double boiler or tall narrow pot to depth of 2"; add salt. Bring to boiling; carefully stand bundles upright. Cover with inverted double boiler top or pot lit. Cook 10-12 minutes; bottoms will boil while tops steam.
5. Store no longer than 2-3 days in refrigerator. Store upright in water or in plastic bag.