Click here to return to Home Page Click here to return to Home Page
 
Click here to return to Home Page
  The Author 

  Links 

 Contact   
 Seasoned Cooking  Food Wares  Noteworthy  Epicurean Travels

 
 
 Menu Menu Archive  Salad of the Month   Soup of the Month  Food Bites  
 
     

 



powered by FreeFind

Asparagus Tips

  • More than 50,000 metric tons are harvested annually in California.
     

  • Asparagus was first planted in California during the 1850's. The moderate climate, together with a variety of fertile soil, contributes to the outstanding quality of Asparagus grown in California.
     

  • When buying asparagus, look for firm straight spears with closed, compact tips
     
  • Asparagus should be rich green in color     
     
  • Choose thick or thin spears based on preference or if your recipe specifies thin or thick spears. There is no difference in the tenderness of thin versus thick asparagus spears.
     
  • Store fresh asparagus upright in a jar with 2-inches of water or wrap asparagus loosely with a moist paper towel in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
     
  • To peel or not to peel? Personally,  I prefer to peel the bottom two inches of asparagus spears for a more interesting visual presentation using a vegetable peeler.
     
  • Fresh asparagus cooks quickly — keep one spear as your "test spear" and check its doneness throughout the cooking time.
     
  • Steaming Method: in a saucepan with about two inches of water and a metal steamer gadget, place spears onto steamer, cover pot and steam approximately 5 minutes - taste-test and cook longer if desired.
     
  • Blanching Method:  drop asparagus spears in rapidly boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes uncovered. Drain and refresh asparagus in ice water - dry well with paper towel.
     
  • Microwave cooking: place asparagus in a glass microwave-proof  dish with 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cover with paper towel leaving a vent open and cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes.
     
  • Stir Frying:  cut spears into diagonal pieces and stir fry in a wok with a tablespoon of peanut oil, minced garlic, minced fresh ginger and soy sauce.
     
  • One cup of fresh asparagus contains 85% of the adult recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C, and over 30% of the daily requirement for vitamin A.
     
  • Nutritional information: Look for nutritional labeling on the asparagus sold at your supermarket but if no nutritional information is available, here's the information for a serving size of 5 spears or 93 grams.
     
 

Asparagus with Red Peppers

1 Tablespoon terra medi® Extra Virgin olive oil
2 Red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut julienne
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
*36 fresh asparagus spears, about 6" long, ends peeled
6 strips of leek, blanched
  salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil,  seasoned with a pinch each of salt, black pepper, dried oregano and basil

Bring water to a rapid boil in a large stock pot. Add a tablespoon of sea salt.  Blanch asparagus for 3 - 5 minutes. Taste-test for desired doneness. Remove asparagus with tongs and plunge into a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Remove and pat dry with paper towels and reserve.

In the same pot of boiling water, blanch the leek strips for 1  minute or until they are wilted and pliable. Rinse leek strips in ice water, pat dry and reserve.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté red pepper strips for 5 minutes stirring frequently to prevent browning.  Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove peppers  to a serving platter.

To assemble, arrange 6 spears in a bundle and tie with a strip of leek. Place bundles in a microwave proof dish and reheat for 2 minutes just before serving.  Place on the bed of red peppers and pour the seasoned olive oil over all.  If preparing ahead, assemble the dish and reheat -  covered with plastic wrap in a microwave oven for 2 - 3 minutes at 80% power. (Based on a 600-700 watt oven)

*Number of asparagus for each bundle depends on their thickness -  if asparagus spears are thick you will need only 3 or 4 per bundle.

 

 

 

 
 
           
 Menu Menu Archive  Salad of the Month   Soup of the Month  Food Bites