Tag Archives: asparagus

Garlicky Asparagus

It’s January so that typically means that we have all made some resolutions which as this point we are still sticking to or already caved on already days ago.  I made a deal with myself (again) to eat more fruits and vegetables which really shouldn’t be as hard as it has been.  I bought a box of clementines and ate about 4 before I saw one get slightly molding so I threw the rest away.  Last night I ate leftover blackened chicken and boxed macaroni and cheese with nary a veggie in sight while a bag of unopened broccoli I bought last weekend still sights comfortably tucked away in my refridgerator’s produce drawer.  This is the problem with resolutions:  the intent is good but the reality is a struggle.  At least once this week though I did make one simple vegetable side dish: Garlicky Asparagus.

Crisp asparagus is steamed until perfectly bright green before being simply sauteed with sliced garlic and olive oil.  Seasoned with nothing else but salt and pepper, this flavorful side dish is perfect as a side to chicken, steak or added into a little pasta or on top of a healthy salad.  Asparagus doesn’t just have to be eaten in the spring so if you see it on sale this winter, grab some.  If you are like me, sometimes you need something green other than broccoli.

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The ingredients:

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Steam asparagus 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.

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While asparagus steams, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently.

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Add asparagus, salt, and pepper; toss to combine.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

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Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette

I could eat asparagus just about everyday so it’s important that I find different ways to enjoy this healthy green vegetable.  While I generally enjoy it simply steamed, I like to switch things up a bit and throw these spears a little curveball, like this Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette.  Fresh asparagus is grilled with olive oil and salt before being drizzled with a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard, and capers.  The capers provide a subtle briney, salty punch while the viniagrette itself is garlicky and light.  A sprinkling of fresh, sweet basil rounds out this Spring side dish which is good eaten warm or cold.  I definitely plan on making this again!

The ingredients:

In a shallow dish, toss the asparagus (with ends snapped off) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Place asparagus on grill rack coated with cooking spray and heated over medium-high heat.  Grill for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning after 2 minutes.

Combine remaining salt, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, black pepper, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk together.  Slowly pour remaining olive oil into vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in capers.

Arrange asparagus on a serving plate and drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with ribbons of fresh basil.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Avocado and Asparagus Egg Sandwiches

Because Easter is this weekend, eggs are in the stores cheap so I’m taking advantage of it.  I thought about making some wacky version of deviled eggs (because those seem to be “in” right now) but I’m too much of a fan of simple, plain deviled eggs to do that.  I like my deviled eggs with good ol’ mayonnaise, not with chicken or avocado or bacon.  And even though I plan on eating one or two deviled eggs this weekend, I’m still left with several eggs that I have do something with.  So this past weekend, I pulled out this recipe for Avocado and Asparagus Egg Sandwiches.  I love asparagus so I’m no stranger to putting them in my omlettes but I hadn’t yet tried eggs with avocado.  A mixture of mashed avocado and chopped asparagus are spread on toasted bread and then topped with bacon, a cooked egg, and blanched asparagus.  After just one bite, this sandwich didn’t stand a chance – it was gone in seconds.  Egg sandwiches are great for any meal, not just breakfast, and this version is perfect for a light dinner.  Delicious!

The ingredients:

Boil 2 cups of water in the microwave or on the stove and pour over asparagus in a shallow dish.  Let stand for 10 to 12 minutes and drain.

Mash avocado in a small bowl with lime juice.  Chop 3 asparagus spears and add to the avocado.

Cook eggs in a skillet with melted butter over medium heat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook the eggs for 6 minutes, until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken.  For a fried egg, turn the egg over and break the yolk to fully cook (as I did).

Spread the avocado-asparagus on toasted bread and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Layer bacon, egg, and asparagus over avocado mixture.  Top with another piece of toast or eat as an open-faced sandwich.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

I’ve come a long way with vegetables since I was a kid (I only liked corn and raw carrots).  I always attempted to eat green veggies but never, ever liked them.  I don’t really remember ever having asparagus at our dinner table but it has become one of my favorite vegetables ever.  Some people don’t like aspargus because it’s too mushy but guess what?  That means it’s not cooked right!  Veggies get a bad rap and I think it’s primarily because people aren’t sure how to cook them properly.  Asparagus should only be cooked until they are bright green, whether they are steamed, roasted, or grilled.  Remove them from the heat when they are bright green and they’ll be crisp and perfect everytime.

I usually steam my asparagus but that gets boring after a while.  This recipe for Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar has introduced me to grilling asparagus for a little something different.  Fresh asparagus is tossed with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and grilled until perfectly green.  Since we are in the middle of the winter, I used my trusty indoor grill so any grill pan will do.  After the aspargus is grilled, it is sprinkled with a little bit of balsamic vinegar for an added flavor punch.  This recipe isn’t groundbreaking but it’s simplicity is what appeals to me.  Finding any new way to cook a common vegetable is a great way to keep the boredom out of the kitchen.  I couldn’t keep my hands off this asparagus!  If anyone would have told me that as a kid, I never would have believed them.

The ingredients:

Snap off the ends of the asparagus spears (tip: snap off the end of one asparagus spear and cut the remaining spears in the same spot).  Place in a dish and toss with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

Preheat your indoor grill (I set mine at 350ºF).  Place asparagus spears on the grill coated with cooking spray and grill for 2 minutes on each side until spears are bright green.

Place spears in a bowl and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Risotto Primavera

I could eat risotto everyday.  If you like risotto too, this Risotto Primavera is a delicious, creamy (and crunchy) dish which mixes arborio rice with asparagus, peas and cherry tomatoes.  This dish can easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.  Just take your time with it.  No matter how much you might want to, don’t rush it.  It’s a slow and patient process that results in a warm and comforting dish that you won’t mind eating even if it’s summertime.   

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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