Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Asparagus alert! Asparagus is ready at the Caledonia Farmers’ Market.

Asparagus is a Spring vegetable, that is a great source of vitamins A and C. One-half cup of cooked asparagus contains 24 calories.
Cooked asparagus is often served with melted butter or hollandaise sauce and paired with boiled or scrambled eggs. It can also be lightly dressed with olive oil, steamed and wrapped in thinly sliced ham or prosciutto, or sautéed with garlic and wild mushrooms.

Here are some helpful hints and recipes to try

Look for straight, crisp spears with green or purple tips with tight heads. It's freshness, not size, that's important. One pound (500 g) makes from two to four servings, depending on use

How to Store: Although best eaten fresh, it can be refrigerated for two or three days. Wrap stem ends in damp paper towels, then cover entire bunch with plastic wrap. Or stand straight up in a jug of water.
How to Prep: Wash in cold running water to remove sand or grit. Then snap off and discard tough, woody ends. To keep nutrients, flavour and crisp texture, don't overcook: thin spears may need less than three minutes. To speed cooking of thick spears, cut an "X" in the bottom of each stalk.
How to Cook: add enough water to saucepan to just cover asparagus. Add 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook until tender crisp, drain well.
To serve hot, use immediately.
To serve cold or use in a recipe, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Other methods of cooking
steaming (4 to 8 minutes, tightly covered), drizzled with oil and oven-roasted (at 500°F/260°C for 8 to 10 minutes)
microwaving (covered with 2 tbsp water on High for 4 to 6 minutes) and stir-frying.
How to Freeze: Prepare the asparagus as you would for cooking, then blanch. Drain well, pat dry and package the asparagus in freezer bags. Freeze immediately. Asparagus may be stored one year

Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts or Asparagus and Chicken Enchiladas

Asparagus pizza

Fun for the kids  Makes 8 slices. Takes 25 minutes.
You'll need:·
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil·
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced·
1 clove garlic, minced·
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar·
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar·
8 to 10 stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces·
1 medium tomato, chopped·
1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil·
Salt and pepper, to taste·
1 baked 12-inch (30 cm) whole wheat pizza crust·
3 tbsp (45 mL) of your favourite cheese, shredded
1. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
2. Sauté onion and garlic until softened and golden, about 8 minutes.
3. Add vinegar and sugar; stir.
4. Add asparagus; cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add tomato, basil, and salt and pepper to taste; cook for 1 minute.
6. Spread asparagus mixture over whole-wheat pizza crust; top with cheese.
7. Place pizza directly on middle oven rack (for softer, chewier crust, bake on cookie sheet). Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven (or according to pizza crust directions on package) for 6 to 8 minutes or until crust browns.
8. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese begins to bubble.*
recipes from Foodland Ontario