The Cooking Chronicles: It’s Asparagus Season!

I love reading the weekly updates from Edgar Farms, and in particular, seeing the first snapshots of the season capturing those darling, plucky stalks of asparagus bursting upwards from the soil. Sure, there are many ways to tell that spring is upon us, but I think it’s great that we are lucky enough to have a timely, seasonal vegetable that can act as our harbinger of spring.

Asparagus from Edgar Farms

At $6 a bunch, they’re not an inexpensive purchase at the City Market, but for the product’s freshness and ability to easily last a week in the fridge, they’re worth the cost.

Roasted Asparagus

What’s better than a side of simple, roasted asparagus? Tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and placed in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes or so, the crisp-tender stalks are bright and tasty.

Roasted asparagus

Asparagus Pesto

I’ve written in the past about my love of the versatile dip/spread as my office potluck staple dish – it allows me to escape the pre-lunch crush at the stove/microwave as my fellow colleagues rush to heat up their contribution. And, really, it’s allowed me to try out new recipes without having to commit to eating an entire sampling myself.

This time, an asparagus pesto recipe in the NYT caught my eye, and its radiant green hue seemed perfect for a spring potluck. I threw the blanched asparagus pieces with some of the cooking liquid, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, black pepper and a dash of lemon juice into the food processor and blended everything until the mixture was creamy.

The result was a smooth, hearty dip with a deep, earthy flavour, and one that I am happy to say solicited many requests for the recipe.

Asparagus pesto

It’s a versatile pesto, and one that I look forward to trying with pasta as well, as suggested in the recipe.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy asparagus?

10 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: It’s Asparagus Season!

  1. I love asparagus in a nice creamy risotto. I’m also a huge fan of asparagus cream soup, but I’m too chicken to try to make it myself! And I have to say that your asparagus dip looks fabulous. Definitely have to try that.

  2. Cook’s Illustrated published a great asparagus pasta recipe a couple years ago that I now make as often as possible each spring. It has red onion and basil, and a balsamic reduction to drizzle over the finished dish – divine!

  3. Mel… Asparagus soup is easy to make. We (Edgar Farms) have a free recipe at our Edmonton farmers market booths both downtown and Strathcona. Just stop by and ask for one. We also sell asparagus seconds which are great for making soup.

  4. Dr. CaSo – your quiche looks delectable! I’ve never made a quiche with asparagus before, but that’s a great idea.

    Mel – asparagus risotto is indeed yummy!

    Alison – that pasta recipe sounds delicious – it’s the balsamic reduction that got me.

  5. I love Edgar Farms asparagus. It is, for me, a highlight of the spring season. I eat so much asparagus during the tragically short growing season that it’s not even funny.

    Sure, it’s pricey, but it’s totally worth it.

  6. Jill – sounds like a super-healthy dish. Though it wouldn’t be as healthy, using deep-fried tofu would do it for me too.

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