Asparagus is one of the premier crop in the pioneer valley, and asparagus from this area is often called some of the best asparagus in the world. As a perennial, it takes two years before an asparagus plant produces a marketable crop, but a well-cared for asparagus plant (like ours!) can produce tasty stalks for up to 30 years. With a growing season of just May-June, we harvest nearly everyday and just can’t get enough of this delicious early season crop!
Asparagus is great in frittatas, simply roasted, stir-fried, or as an appetizer.
- Shaved Asparagus Frittata
- Roasted Asparagus
- Wok-Fried Asparagus With Walnuts
- Grilled Asparagus Crostini with Goat Cheese
Shaved Asparagus Frittata
from Smitten Kitchen
Cooking Time: 10 minutes prep and 10 minutes cook
Yield: Serves 6
- 1/2 pound asparagus, cleaned, not trimmed
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (optional)
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (to taste)
Prepare the asparagus: No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbons away from the tough end (and your hand) right through the soft tip. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling.
Crisp the prosciutto: If you’re using the prosciutto, heat the 12-inch ovenproof skillet you’ll use for the final frittata over medium heat. Lay slices in a single layer (will need to do this in two batches) and cook them until lightly brown underneath and curling. Flip them for another 20 to 30 seconds then transfer them to paper towels to blot off the extra oil and cool. Repeat with remaining prosciutto. You’ll use the pan again in a minute.
Heat your broiler.
Vigorously beat your eggs with the milk or cream, plus salt and pepper until well-combined. Stir in scallions and crumble in crisp prosciutto, if using. Gently add asparagus peels, just swishing the egg mixture over them.
Heat your skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let it heat fully, then swish it around so it goes up the sides of the pan. Pour in asparagus and egg mixture, nudging the asparagus around so it mostly stays level with the eggs. Crumble goat cheese over, to taste. Cook gently (lowering the heat to medium-low if needed) for about 5 minutes, until the edges are set and brown but it’s still loose and eggy on top. Transfer skillet to the broiler and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, until eggs are set on top.
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- lemon juice (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer and toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, until stalks are tender and start to shrivel a bit. If desired, toss with lemon juice just before serving and enjoy!
Wok-Fried Asparagus With Walnuts
from The New York Times
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 ½ pounds asparagus, pencil-size or medium
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns, or use black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1 to 2 bird’s-eye chiles, thinly sliced, or use serrano or Fresno chiles
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ½ cup toasted walnut halves
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 green onions, slivered
- Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Snap off and discard bottoms of asparagus, then cut into 2-inch pieces. (Halve thicker pieces lengthwise first.)
Set a wok over high heat and add vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add asparagus and season lightly with salt. Stir-fry for a minute or so, then add Sichuan pepper, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger, sugar, chiles, soy sauce and walnuts. Continue cooking over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing to coat well, until asparagus is cooked but still firm and bright green. (It will continue to cook a bit off the heat.)
Transfer asparagus to a serving platter and drizzle with sesame oil. Sprinkle green onions over the top and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Grilled Asparagus Crostini with Goat Cheese
- 1 bunch asparagus (thinner stalks preferred)
- local goat cheese
- 1 baguette
- olive oil
If using thick stalks of asparagus, blanch for a few minutes in boiling water until slightly tender. If using thin stalks you can skip this step.
Rub asparagus with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Grill (turning frequently) until grill marks appear and asparagus is tender. toss grilled asparagus in a bit of lemon juice.
To make the crostini: slice the baguette into 1 inch thick slices and brush both sides with olive oil. Toast in the oven (400 degrees) until golden brown and crisp- just a few minutes. Be careful not to burn them!
Smear each crostini with goat cheese and top with 3 or more stalks of grilled asparagus. Serve immediately.