100 Ways to Prepare Asparagus

Ha. Sorry to deceive, but I am not that creative! Besides, Id most certainly have a marital revolt on my hands if I made (and served) 100 different asparagus recipes in under a week or even over several months! Nonetheless, Mr. Green Me, several of my neighbors, my mom and myself, all swear that the asparagus that I picked last week is the BEST asparagus we have ever eaten. I’ve eaten freshly picked asparagus in the past, but I tend to like asparagus, so until I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Id never really considered why some asparagus is simply good, while other asparagus is absolutely divine.

The Monroe Farms asparagus was divine. And, I did find a variety of tasty ways to serve the asparagus over the weekend and into this week. The first night, I flash sauteed the asparagus in a little olive oil and salt. Mmm mmm. Next, I made a crustless quiche with asparagus, fresh free-roaming organic eggs, Maverick Ranch Bacon and Hazel Del mushrooms. Delish. We had the quiche for breakfast AND lunch.

Next I broke out my canning equipment (sounds complicated, but not so) and I pickled six 1 quart jars of asparagus. I had to make my own pickling spices, as the only pickling spice I could find premade had suspect ingredients, and the recipe that I chose to follow suggested removing the cloves. (Please note that follow is a relative word when it comes to me and recipes.) The bad news when it comes to pickling is that you cant eat your wares for 3 to 4 months! Since I was itching to know what my product might taste like down the road, I cooked a few spears in the remaining pickling brine. They were good. Difficult to describe, but I could definitely taste the cinnamon and the coriander, which I think sort of gave the asparagus an extra earthy and smoky flavor.

And last but not least, I made Cream of Asparagus Soup which, much to my pleasure, has less cream than Id feared. My father is a self employed painter and illustrator. When I was a kid I would often spend holidays and summer days at home with him in his studio while my mom was at work. Our standard lunch was a can of Campbell’s Soup and a sandwich. On occasion we had cream of asparagus or cream of mushroom soup. Although Campbell’s may have been the chef I thought these creamy soups were fit for a Queen.  As an adult, I admit to food snobbery and so I don’t buy Campbell’s.  You’d think Id have made my own soup before, but I haven’t. The process was pretty easy and I followed this recipe (although I added a shake of cayenne & paprika, and a cup of sauteed mushrooms). The soup is very good, although not quite perfect. Ill have to play with the recipe (or if you have a divine one, please share)!

In conclusion, my asparagus adventure ended with 5 ways to eat fresh asaparagus: raw (sweet & crisp); sauteed (yum); quiche (divine); pickled (wait and see); and creme of asparagus soup (perfect for our cold and rainy weather this week).

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