I saw my first asparagus sign of the season, on a local farm stand while I was out and about today. It made me happy.
Although in the middle of winter I do occasionally succumb to the siren call of imported out-of-season stuff, asparagus remains to me one of the few remaining truly seasonal treats. If you have ever had asparagus that’s picked the very day you eat it, you’ll know that it bears no resemblance at all to that which has been shipped for thousands of miles before seeing your grocer’s shelves.
I love to roast asparagus. I buy slender stalks that are no thicker than my baby finger. I toss them in olive oil, season them with salt and pepper, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake them at a fairly high heat until the tips are crispy and caramelized and the stocks are fork tender. Heaven! I am happy eating them right off the baking sheet; making asparagus my entire meal. I fear, though, that if I’m going to roast asparagus in my new place I’ll have to first disable the smoke detectors!
Other ways I’ve cooked asparagus: baked in tarts and quiches, steamed, stir fried, grilled, pureed, and in soups.
Ways I’ll never cook asparagus: pickled. I seriously do not understand how anyone could want to take that perfect, delicate taste of spring and ruin it with vinegar. Each to their own, I guess.
I’m heading out toward Cowichan Bay to buy spot prawns tomorrow. I think I’ll stop and buy some asparagus on the way home. Sounds like the makings of a perfect meal.