In my opinion, asparagus is the best vegetable in the world. In the world, Stacey? Yes, in the world. If I had to pick my absolute favorite vegetable, it would be asparagus. Smelly pee be damned! This vegetable rules and we are entering Spring which is the quintessential season for this green-stalked veggie delight. I decided to prepare my spring asparagus two ways. First, I roasted it in the oven and prepared some lemony breadcrumbs for a topping. Second, I chopped and sauteed it in a pan with basil - then topped it with fresh shaved parmesan cheese. With Easter and Mother's Day around the corner, this would be a great addition to your holiday feast!
Roasted Asparagus with Lemony Breadcrumbs
I do love the simplicity of roasting asparagus. It's very low maintenance and it's done in 12-15 minutes. Yay! Fast, easy and so delicious. All you have to do is trim the bottoms, throw it on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Give it a toss to coat and roast at 425 degrees. That's it. The pièce de résistance of this dish is the lemony breadcrumbs. You'll remember, I made this crunchy panko delight to top my Swiss Chard Pasta w/Lemony Breadcrumbs and Bacon Bits as part of my CSA Series last summer.
Well, I've found yet another use for them here. They are the perfect topper for roasted asparagus! You may notice I made way more than needed for this recipe. You should do the same. It's a fantastic topping for salads, fish, pasta, chicken and I'm sure you'll find more uses too!
Sautéed Asparagus with Basil and Shaved Parmesan
Next up, I give you chopped asparagus with basil and shaved parmesan cheese. I love employing the sauté/steam method with my vegetables and this dish is no exception. Transfer the chopped asparagus to a sauté pan, add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. You'll alternate between letting the asparagus steam with the lid on, then removing it to stir. In six minutes, you'll be in asparagus heaven!
Add some fresh basil and lemon, give it one last toss and you're ready to go. Shave the fresh parmesan right into your serving bowl! So delish and simple to make! And if you're making either of these recipes for Easter, don't forget to check out my Mom's Potatoes Au Gratin that she makes every year for Easter.
If you think YOU love asparagus!
If you're an asparagus enthusiast, like myself, you have seen the movie, Asparagus! (A Stalk-umentary), Stalking the American Life which details the asparagus growing season in Oceania, Michigan culminating in an annual asparagus festival. Filmmakers Anne De Marre and Kirsten Kelly captured the people and culture of an asparagus growing region in America with pure delight. The excitement and passion surrounding asparagus is truly inspiring. I also love that the film itself is a giant reminder to support local farming whenever possible. Though I saw this film many years ago, it's always stuck in my mind. You can see it on their website here: Asparagus! Stalking the American Life.
If you're here looking for Easter stuff, remember this: leftover ham!! We will all have it and not know what the heck we're going to do with it, right? Have no fear, I have two ideas. Every year after Easter I always save some ham for Croque Monsieur Sandwiches and a fabulous Western Omelet. If you're all hammed out, I get it. We always freeze the ham and it works out great. Pull it out when you need it for omelets and sandwiches.
I hope you enjoy my asparagus recipes! And remember how important it is to get to your kitchens and make amazing food. Cook food for yourself and your loved ones. It's so easy to do and sharing meals and stories around a table is a wonderful tradition to share with others.Print