Great cooking with Asparagus

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Lake Forest Park Farmers Market opens on Mother’s Day, May 12 at 11am. The asparagus at the market is freshly cut, tender and at its peak. After you select the best asparagus from the Farmers Market, you have to decide how to cook this Washington state favorite.

Try this classic recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.

Asparagus with Vinaigrette

This recipe is good when you want to be with your guests and not in the kitchen.  You can prepare the asparagus in advance and nip into the kitchen to whisk the vinaigrette just before serving.

Bring a large kettle of salted water to a full rolling boil.  Drop in the asparagus and let it return to a boil.  Don’t let it overcook.  This asparagus will be served later at room temperature so stop cooking while it is still crisp.  (This means tender but not drooping.)  When the asparagus is perfect, plunge it into ice water.  I fill the sink and add ice cubes, but you can do it in a large bowl.

The ice stops the cooking and keeps the asparagus green.  Cool and then transfer to a dishtowel or paper towel and pat dry.  When it is dry put it in a serving dish.

Vinaigrette

1 TBS prepared Dijon mustard
4 TBS red wind vinegar
1 Teaspoon sugar
½ Teaspoon salt
½ Teaspoon ground black pepper
Minced parsley and or fresh chives
½ cup olive oil

Put mustard in a bowl, whisk in vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and herbs
Continue whisking while slowly dribbling olive oil until it thickens. Pour on the asparagus and serve.

Asparagus blast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash asparagus, break off the ends and dry them.  Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle on olive oil and salt and pepper.

The skinny ones cook in about 7 minutes and the thick one in about 10 minutes.


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