There are a couple of things that are unique to this green plant from the lily family. Aside from rhubarb, asparagus is the only other vegetable that is a perennial. In other words, it will keep producing stalks every year without having to replant it like other vegetables. The other curious thing about asparagus is that some people can detect a sulfur-like odor in their urine very quickly after eating it and some cannot. It is nothing to worry about; you just have a special trait, like being able to curl your tongue.
The harvest season for asparagus is between February and June. Other than the green stalks, there are white ones, which are grown underground, and a purple variety. The thinner the stalks are, the younger the plant is. It is best to eat them right away, but you can refrigerate them a couple of days by putting them in a glass or vase with an inch of water and covering them with plastic wrap. Some stalks can be woody, so cut them off or peel the rougher outside edges with a potato peeler. Look for moist ends where they have been cut and don’t buy them if the tips have started to open.
Because asparagus has a delicate flavor, it lends itself nicely to eggs. Who says you can’t have a vegetable for breakfast? One of my favorite breakfast restaurants blends asparagus with black olives and feta cheese. It is very tasty and you can eat up to a cup of asparagus and only consume 27 calories! If calories are not a concern, combine asparagus with bacon in an omelet. Spice it up even more with savory, tarragon, and chives.
Asparagus makes a salad go a little further, and it’s a great way to add more vitamins. To make the salad even better add fresh slices of orange. Add crunch by sprinkling your salad with walnuts.
Pasta makes a wonderful dinner meal. Boil up some fettuccine or tortellini and mix it with garlic cloves, thyme, goat cheese, and asparagus. For a sauce, you can combine some asparagus tips in the blender with milk. Pour this into a saucepan with a little flour mixed in warm melted butter (or arrowroot mixed in a little cool water) to thicken the sauce.
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