Asparagus Info (and Recipe Swap)

The very first spears came up two days ago – and promptly got clonked by last night’s frost – but it won’t be long until we’ve got plenty; there’s a 100 foot row at the back of our truck garden here in the Hudson Valley.

home grown asparagus

When I got out the butter I was thinking "have a measure to show the lengths," but it doesn't hurt to remember you don't HAVE to cook it in olive oil.

It was planted 20 years ago, which means 16 years of bountiful harvests and about 5 years of asparagus posts, most recently Tips for Choosing, Storing, Preparing and Growing. Want recipes? I seem to have called it a day at Cream of Asparagus Soup (made from the otherwise discarded tough ends) and Spring On Toast, with asparagus, morels and eggs. So I was feeling faintly remiss when

I happened over to my friend Margaret’s A Way To Garden and discovered a major multi-blog asparagus recipe swap, down at the bottom of her as usual very informative asparagus post.

Recipes galore, there for the clicking. I haven’t tried any of them, not being much of a recipe follower unless I’m writing the thing. But once the plenty kicks in, who knows?

Meanwhile, welcome to the swap, which seems to be a sort of edible chain letter. Margaret links to what might be called the ringleaders’ blogs, then invites readers to include their own recipes (or links thereto) in her comments. The other lead bloggers do the same, then their blogs’ readers do the same and …

So. Please consider yourself invited. My comments are your comments, after all, and the more the merrier.

Margaret’s original lineup includes:

* from the Food Network’s Healthy Eats, Asparagus 5 Ways

*  from the Food Network’s Dish, Easter Asparagus Recipes

* from The Cooking Channel, Asparagus Frittata

*  from What’s Gaby Cooking, Skinny Asparagus and Gruyere Tart

* from Food2, A Seasonal Spotlight on Asparagus


** Asparagus Gratin, originally from Cook’s Country, channeled through Steamy Kitchen and, with different commentary (commentary being the fun part), Pinch My Salt.

Note: At the lead blogs – this one makes no promises – swaps will be going on weekly all through the season. This is the first batch, aka Spring Fling:

Wednesday, April 20: Asparagus

Wednesday, May 4: Rhubarb

Wednesday, May 18: Artichokes

Wednesday, June 1: Strawberries

Wednesday, June 15: Peas

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  • Ali Said,

    No asparagus here as Dan doesn’t like it, but I’m salivating in anticipation of your rhubarb pie, which made a believer out of me. I’ll be moving our rhubarb to better real estate this year to make sure I have enough for future pies.

    Oh Ali, How can he not like it?!! And even if he doesn’t, what about everybody else? Bill read your comment and told me to suggest you plant Purple Passion. Spears are enromous, tender and sweeter than regular asparagus. Plus beautiful and faintly obscene. Bound to make a convert of him.
    Hope the rhubarb thrives in its new location; I just ate the last of last year’s (as cobbler, not pie) in order to be ready for the new crop and it was still terrific in spite of its near-year in the freezer.

  • Susan Scheid Said,

    Inspired by your post–not to mention the arrival of some good weather–we started an asparagus bed today. As they say on twitter #betterlatethannever.

    YAY! Congratulations! Home-grown is SO much better than bought (even bought at the farmers’ market…).
    We’re picking daily in the lower garden now, though stalks of very uneven thickness are telling me to take my own advice and get a new planting in. I’m always so busy harvesting – and urging people to get started – I keep forgetting the part about only peonies are forever…
    You have been ordering those for fall, haven’t you?

  • Tatiana Said,

    I love pickled asparagus, and when there is a glut (I don’t even grow my own, but overbuy), that’s my first choice.

    Hi Tatiana –
    Have to say I don’t love pickled asparagus, but maybe that’s because I’ve never had a good version. Would you share your recipe? (I do love cold asparagus vinaigrette, so I’m probably convertible).

  • Ali Said,

    Leslie, I have a thing for purple veggies so maybe I will go ahead and plant some Purple Passion. Faintly obscene fits right in here, and I love it, so why not!

    I hadn’t thought to freeze rhubarb…. how do you prepare it for freezing?

    Hi Ali
    Why not indeed, on the purple passion. Be warned that like many purple vegetables it turns green when cooked – plus only the skin is purple, interior is pale green. On the good side, it’s sweeter than green asparagus and very tender, so if purple retention is important you can just eat it raw.
    More on freezing rhubarb to come but the short version is put it on a cookie sheet and then put it in a bag. No need to cook or pack in syrup or any of that. Just be sure it’s in one layer until solid so it freezes quickly.

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