Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Heart Asparagus

After months of anticipation, the Green Market finally has asparagus! I love asparagus. It has a grassy fresh taste that is delicious steamed, grilled, or sauted. It is high in antioxidants such as vitamins A and C and is also high in fiber and potassium.

Asparagus is a member of the Lily family and grows in sandy soil. The shoots have to be picked daily (depending on the amount of sunlight is can be less often), otherwise the asparagus will grow into a bushy plant if left unattended.

Look for asparagus with firm stalks and tightly closed tips. The thicker the stalks, the older the asparagus plant is. Wrap the stem ends with a moist paper towel and then wrap loosely in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days for best quality. You can also stand the stalks up in about 2 inches of water in the refrigerator.
A few weeks ago I went to the Food For Thought Film Festival and saw the documentary Asparagus! Stalking The American Life. It tells the story of Ocean County, Michigan's struggle to keep their asparagus industry afloat as the US government creates a Free Trade agreement with Peru in order to reduce drug production. Click here to watch the preview. It is a heartbreaking story, but the quirky community makes it fun to watch at the same time. To visit the movie's website click here.

Last night I made scrambled eggs with asparagus, ramps, and Shiitake mushrooms. It was simple and delicious. It was just a bit of chopping :) I based it off a Gourmet Magazine recipe that called for Morel mushrooms. I couldn't find Morels at the Green Market, so I opted for Shiitake. You can find dried Morels at most grocery stores, which would be a good alternative. Click here for the original Scrambled Eggs with Ramps, Morels, and Asparagus recipe.
For information about asparagus click here.

For more asparagus recipes click here.

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