"spring"

More and More Asparagus

When it is in season we eat asparagus constantly. Just like we eat corn daily, strawberries, and tomatoes for their short seasons. Needless to say, I'm always on the look-out for ways to enjoy our favourite spring vegetable. Here is a round-up of recipes, both mine and others, that showcase this great green stalk.

--- Asparagus Risotto (Backseat Gourmet
--- Asparagus Soup (Use Real Butter)
--- Pickled Asparagus (Food in Jars)

Go forth, gather, and eat while the eating is good.

Asparagus with Roasted Rhubarb Sauce



They say that when in doubt, cook foods together that grow together. As we trundled along on our tractor ride at the most recent Asparagus Festival I couldn't help but become obsessed with the idea of asparagus and rhubarb together. There they were, in neighbouring fields and sharing space in my Edgar Farms bag on the way home. They begged to be joined in holy cookery.

The only problem with this idea is that rhubarb, no matter how you cut it, is a rather tart thing. And asparagus is far more mellow and sweet. It isn't always a case for opposites attract. But when it doubt, throw them in a roasting pan together. A little spice, a little sweet and sweat, and beautiful things can happen.

Roasted asparagus, however, isn't that great to eat. The texture is rather, um... pasty with a side of string. Not giving up on this relationship, however, the rhubarb transformed when it became a sauce to slink over and envelope the roasted asparagus. It also did well when covering pork tenderloin, but I'm not telling you about that. The asparagus would be upset to know the rhubarb went behind his back.


Asparagus with Roasted Rhubarb Sauce
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

1 bunch asparagus
2 large stalks of rhubarb (the pinker the better)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp orange juice
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Clean asparagus. Trim rhubarb into roughly 4 inch lengths. Place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Combine 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 1tsp Chinese 5 spice powder, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus and rhubarb with this dressing. Roast for 10 minutes.
4. When the rhubarb and asparagus are done roasting, blitz the rhubarb with the remaining 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder, and orange juice. Season to taste.
5. Pour rhubarb sauce over roasted asparagus and serve immediately. Reserve leftover sauce for a pork tenderloin, but shhh.... don't tell the asparagus.

Asparagus Pico de Gallo


My Mom used to live in Texas. That isn't useful information to anyone, really. It does, however, explain how I came to know of Pico de Gallo. Until I went and spent my last university spring break with her in South Texas I thought that what you scooped up with nacho chips was salsa. In fact, at that point in time nachos were only served in bars, drenched in cheese, olives, and green onions with a side of insipid salsa and sour cream.

Oh how South Texas showed me the way.

First off, nachos are indeed what they serve in the bar. Fried tortillas are what nachos pretend to be. The tortillas that didn't get eaten that morning get cut into triangles and fried for snacks. Pico de Gallo is a bowl of finely chopped and uncooked tomatoes, onions, hot pepper, garlic, and lime. Pico de Gallo is always served with those fried tortillas. Sit on the beach in South Texas where you can order any beer and it will come with fried tortillas and Pico de Gallo. It is about the most perfect bar food, beach or not.

I'm nowhere near a sandy beach and I'm pretty sure any Texan would shoot me for this addition, but here you go: Asparagus Pico de Gallo. I was craving the spice, I had the fried tortillas, and I was staring at a large bunch of asparagus in the fridge. All that was left was the beer. And, of course, the beach.


Asparagus Pico de Gallo
Makes 2 cups

10 stalks asparagus (choose the skinny ones)
2 plum tomatoes
1/4 medium red onion
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 lime
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Steam the asparagus for 1 minute, if you prefer not to eat it raw.
2. Finely chop the asparagus and tomatoes into 1/2 dice or smaller. Keep the tips of the asparagus intact. Finely chop the onion, garlic, and pepper. Toss them all together in a bowl.
3. Juice the lime and add the juice to the vegetables. Add cilantro if you're using. Stir once more and serve.

Asparagus, Dill, and Feta Quiche



Eggs are always a go-to meal in our house. We always have an abundance from our biweekly delivery from Elmar, the Eggman. With asparagus at its peak right now the two ingredients combine well for a great, easy family dinner. This crustless quiche is perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekend brunch

While asparagus has a unique flavour, it is a mild green taste. That means it pairs well with so many other flavours. You could turn this into nearly any other flavour combination. Try asparagus with lemon, parmesan, and pancetta, or tomatoes and provolone. Perhaps cheddar, ham, and green onions with the asparagus. Or salmon and lemon. This time around I chose feta and dill, family favourites in my house.


Asparagus, Feta, and Dill Crustless Quiche
Serves 6-8 as a main course

1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 bunch of asparagus
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 cup crumbled feta

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Butter a deep dish pie plate. Toss the bread crumbs into the plate and roll around to cover the sides. Pat in an errant crumbs.
3. Clean and chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Place in a small pot, season with salt, and add about 1 inch of water. Cook on high heat, covered, for 1-2 minutes. Drain immediately. Pour into a bowl and leave uncovered while you prepare the rest of the quiche.
4. Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add the milk and whisk well. Season with pepper, a little bit of salt (the feta is salty, so you don't have to add that much). Add the 1/2 cup feta, dill, and the asparagus. Pour into prepared pie plate. Top with remaining feta.
5. Bake for 40-45 min until the top is puffy and golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before you serve.