Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Perennial Vegetable Recipe: Asparagus

In my previous post, I profiled the asparagus plant - one of the easiest perennial vegetable species for the home gardener to grow. But since then, I've had readers ask about preparing asparagus and it seems that there are many perennial gardeners out there in need of some good asparagus recipes.

To help, I've decided to publish my favorite way to cook asparagus below. This is a simple, easy to make and quick recipe - takes only about 10 minutes from start to finish! It is best made with fresh asparagus cut from your patch immediately before cooking, although if you are like me, store bought asparagus is better than no asparagus at all.

Simple But Exquisite Asparagus

You will need:
  • One to two pounds of freshly harvested (or store bought, if not in season) asparagus spears
  • A few tablespoons of quality extra virgin olive oil
  • A few tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest (and additional lemon juice for added flavor)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Clean and trim the asparagus spears and cut into smaller lengths - about two inches - using a diagonal cut
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and then add the asparagus. Boil for two minutes, then drain.
  3. Toss the still hot asparagus spears in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
I hope you enjoy this asparagus recipe as much as I do. Happy perennial vegetable gardening!