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Foodie Finds: Spring means asparagus!

I’m going to sound a little bit like Forest Gump as I rave about the many uses of the happiest spring vegetable, asparagus. You can steam it, grill it, saute’ it, roast it, microwave it, cook it sous-vide or eat it raw. You can use asparagus in a quiche, omelet, frittata, side dish, salad, soup, appetizer, pizza, quesadilla and many other dishes. Asparagus can be purple, green or white. The French celebrate the arrival of the white asparagus with festivals and restaurants feature the spring vegetable in a huge variety of dishes.

My friend reminded me that 15 years ago, we were all making an appetizer with asparagus that included rolling white bread, crusts removed, out flat. You rolled the asparagus up in the bread, which was spread with cream cheese, drizzle some butter on and bake. It was our go-to, elegant appetizer. I found the recipe if you would like to give it a try.

Super easy to prepare

I love asparagus prepared simply, roasted, cold, with a tangy, mustardy vinaigrette. Often adding some crispy bacon pieces or a chopped hard boiled egg. I didn’t include any pictures of this preparation, but you can bet it will be my dinner sometime this week!

I found this recipe for Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Shortbread Coins on Food & Wine’s website and love how it turned out. The addition of bright, green peas really enhanced the springtime feel of this dish. The savory crackers were an added bonus that are delicious served along the soup. I tried the soup both warm and cold and liked it both ways. The soup takes very little time to put together and would make an elegant start to an Easter dinner.

Colorful and yummy quesadillas

This recipe from the Food Network site was really tasty. I made these asparagus and red bell pepper quesadillas for dinner last night. They will be added to my regular rotation. I'll also  make them for my granddaughters who love veggies. Bonus, I was able to make these in about 30 minutes. I did add some sauteed onions and a few green onion slices to mine, along with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese added to the mozzarella. These would be good for a meatless Monday or a day when you need to stretch the budget a bit.

More asparagus deliciousness

If I was going to upgrade my white bread and asparagus appetizer, I would go with this recipe for an asparagus and gruyere tart. It’s just a few ingredients, including store-bought puff pastry and pretty easy to execute.

Have fun experimenting with all the uses of asparagus and enjoy the bountiful spring veggie! Check out my book list to see what our library has to offer in the way of books highlighting asparagus.



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