Asparagus-palooza

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I have a thing for asparagus. Don’t you?

They’re so much more exciting than other green things, like beans, or brussel sprouts. More glamorous. More spontaneous, more willing to switch outfits, like a girl I know who can wear dressy clothes to a casual event and get away with it.

Maybe the thrill of asparagus is its peculiarity. We never ate it, growing up:definitley not an element of East European cuisine! Asparagus comes from the lily family: is it a vegetable or a flower? It’s been used by First Nations people as medicine: it’s good for the heart! Asparagus root has been used in Chinese medicine to treat everything from arthritis to infertility. Asparagus itself contains folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene. Who knew?

But here’s the thing…I need some new ideas. how do you eat asparagus? Do you put it in salad, or make soup out of it? Do you roast it, boil it, blanche it, grill it? Do you have it with eggs, or with cheese, or just on its own? Is it a side dish or the main deal? Send me your asparagus recipes, ideas, or stories. Post them here in this blog, so we can all read them!

OK fair’s fair. Here’s an asparagus dish I’ve made, from a cookbook called The Girls Who Dish!, written collaboratively by Vancouver’s best women chefs. Melt a teaspoon of butter, stir in two teaspoons of finely chopped shallot, and then, a minute later, the juice of two blood oranges and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Removing it from the heat, swirl in two more teaspoons of butter, a fistful of chopped fresh thyme; salt and pepper to taste. Pour it over a pound of lightly steamed asparagus, sprinkling orange zest over top.

Now it’s your turn…

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In other news…Check out this interview with me about my book Comfort Food for Breakups in the Saturday, May 5 edition of the Toronto Star…by fabulous food columnist Marion Kane (her column is called Dish!).

5 Comments

  1. My favourite thing about asparagus is that it’s perfectly socially acceptable to eat it with your fingers. I love being out for dinner at a restaurant and being able to just pick it up off my plate…

  2. Asparagus Hands

    2 white plates
    4 asparagus per plate
    plus one cut down to half-size
    as a thumb
    arrange and cover with white cheese sauce
    butter, flour, cream, pepper
    wisk don’t burn
    paprika over top
    and arrange parsley over “wrist”
    it looks hilarious
    I did it once and now I never can resist
    celery can be a wedding ring
    other ornaments carrots radishes
    shallots
    try it

  3. the best asparagus thing I ate recently was individual asparagus souffles. I think there’s a recipe in one of the Chez Panisse books. it has the shape of a “muffin” but’s as light and as flavourful as a souffle. extraordinary.

    after tat I’m sorta plain jane. i like mine well cooked (not raw or blanched, but actually cooked) with a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice.

    will you be popping int SF as part of the book tour?

  4. Susan, that’s an absolutely bizarre thing to do with asparagus! :)

    Shuna, yum, asparagus souffle!

    and yes there is a plan to head to the Bay area in early October to do readings. Any suggestions as to venues?

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