No More Waiting for Asparagus
You’ve heard about the rhubarb. Well, asparagus is that other early spring vegetable for which I eagerly await. Its presence marks the start of this abundant season. Maybe I’ll eventually plant my own asparagus bed, like Barbara Kingsolver, but you have to wait three years for the harvest. For now, procuring the green (and sometimes eggplant purple) spears from local farmers will more than do.
Asparagus featured prominently at my beloved old Waverly Farmers Market in Baltimore, which I got to visit when briefly in town for a wedding last weekend. That’s Hannah and I fingering the skinny, almost stringy stalks for sale at the stand run by a farmer from Seaford, Del. But Hannah said they’ve been tough and not that flavorful. Here in Oregon, the spears are mostly sweet and fat. I received deliveries of them from the local organic Sunbow Farm here in Corvallis. Just order $10 of produce and they’ll deliver to your door. Pretty nice when you don’t have a CSA but are out of town for the weekend farmers market.
What do you make with your April and May fresh asparagus? I recommend this “Sesame Noodles with Fresh Asparagus Tips” recipe from Deborah Madison, via Culinate. I added local sauteed shittake mushrooms to the mix. Also substituted flat rice noodles for the Chinese egg ones, but don’t recommend that. And tonight I topped pasta with fresh local fava beans and asparagus, sauteed with leeks and green garlic in olive oil and a chicken broth and lemon juice sauce. Topped with chopped parsley, dill, tarragon and chives from the garden, it made for a light springy meal.