ASPARAGUS- One of spring's most wonderful vegetables
We here in West Michigan, are so very fortunate to be so near to a community such as Hesperia, that is famous for an abundant crop of asparagus each year.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use asparagus after cleaning and snapping it. Wash thoroughly and then snap from the bottom up. The asparagus will snap at the point where it becomes tender. Throw away the bottom part or keep to put in stock you may be making.
1. Roasted Asparagus: Put the cleaned asparagus on a big cookie sheet that has sides on it. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and salt & pepper. Toss with your hands and put into the oven, preheated at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Serve warm as a side dish or cut up and add to a salad.
2. Creamed Asparagus Soup-Make any basic soup recipe and substitute asparagus for your main vegetable. You could also put this soup into a blender and then add cream to it and use it as a smooth creamed soup.
3. Pickled Asparagus: This version of asparagus can be purchased in the stores. Chill the can of asparagus, dry it with paper towels when ready to use, and wrap each spear in a dried beef slice that has been topped with room temp cream cheese. This makes a wonderful snack.
4. Blanched Asparagus: Put cleaned asparagus into a pot of boiling water and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus to a container of ice water to cool down and retain the bright color. Cut into bite size pieces and add to your favorite creamed pasta dish.
5. Quiche: Asparagus is one of my favorites to add to a quiche. Make a simple quiche of 4-5 eggs, beaten; add salt & pepper to taste along with 1 cup of milk or half & half, 1 cup of Swiss cheese that you add 1 T of flour; 1 cup chopped cooked ham or bacon. After pouring this mixture into an unbaked pie shell, top it with tons of asparagus. Bake in a 350 over for 45-50 minutes. Quiche should not jiggle in the middle when done.