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?