Hot and Cold Springtime Asparagus!

Here in northern Indiana asparagus is harvested from April through June.  There are 20 edible varieties of asparagus, but the green spears are the most abundant and popular. Asparagus is part of the lily family, and the spears are shoots from an underground crown.  That crown can produce shoots for up to 20 years!  Here are two asparagus recipes….one hot and one cold.  To learn about the nutritional value of asparagus…..”shoot” on over to my NUGGETS page!

Sauteed Asparagus in 5 Minutes           

*Choose organic ingredients whenever possible 🙂

1.  Chop or press 2 cloves of garlic and set aside for at least 5 minutes. (This rest time will increase the nutrient value of the garlic.)

2.  Heat 3 tablespoons of  chicken or vegetable broth in a stainless steel pan over a medium heat.

3.  Meanwhile, snap or chop off the “woody” bottom part of the asparagus spears.  Then cut the spears into 2 inch pieces.  (This size will speed up the cook time.)

4.  Add asparagus pieces to the steaming broth.  Cover the pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes.  Your asparagus will be tender on the outside and crispy on the inside.  Quick cooking will concentrate the flavor and nutrition of the asparagus!

5.  Place the sauteed asparagus into a bowl.

6.  Mix together the resting garlic, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper.  Pour this dressing over the warm asparagus and toss to coat.  Serve and enjoy 🙂

7.  NUTRTION NOTE:  The carotenoids in the asparagus are best absorbed by your body when they are consumed with healthy oils!

Herb-Marinated Asparagus

1.  Assemble a marinade of 1 part balsamic vinegar, 2 parts extra-virgin olive oil, fresh herbs (such as: rosemary, basil, dill, parsley), and sea salt & pepper to taste.

2.  Marinate asparagus (cut as you desire), red bell pepper slices, red onion slices, olives (any variety), and feta cheese crumbles for 2-8 hours.

**This cold dish goes well with chicken or fish.

Recipes adapted from The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan.

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