Asparagus

aspIt is now the third week of April.  Spring has sprung.  The tulips are cresting and the birds are chirping their song of awakening and renewal.

I love spring.  It is a time of new beginnings, new growth and the coming out of winter hibernation.

With the spring season upon us we are blessed to have a fresh new crop of ASPARAGUS.    I know you can get asparagus year round but the spring crop is by far, my favorite.

Asparagus is very nutritious.  One cup of cooked asparagus is loaded with vitamin K, as well as good values of folate, copper, B1, selenium, B2, C, E and many minerals.  Asparagus is considered an anti-inflammatory food as it provides many anti-inflammatory nutrients.  These being saponins, quercetin and rutin.  Asparagus also provides many antioxidants such as C and beta carotene and the super anti-oxidant Glutathione, the master of all anti-oxidants….a friend to your liver.

Asparagus is so easy to prepare.  You can simply break off the woody ends and place in a steamer basket and steam this yummy veggie to your liking.   I prefer to oven roast my asparagus in a really good organic olive oil and sprinkled with Himalayan salt and pepper.  I spread it out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle it liberally with the good oil and Himalayan salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Then I slip it into a preheated 400 degree oven and roast it for about 25 minutes until it is tender but still has a little bit of crispiness to it.  This is for asparagus stalks of medium to large thickness.  The little slender stalks would not take that long….likely 10 -15 minutes for the smaller stalks.

Here is a delicious and nutritious spring salad that you and your family will enjoy.

SPRING ASPARAGUS SALAD

1 bunch of fresh spring asparagus

1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, yellow or red will work

2 green onions, chopped

1 heaping tablespoon of capers, drained

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

fresh cracked black pepper

1 tsp agave nectar, or you could use sugar if you like

Trim the asparagus and plunge into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes.  Once the spears are bright green transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water.  Drain.  Arrange the asparagus on a bed of greens on a large platter.  Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and onion overtop.

For the dressing combine the capers, zest, olive oil, juice of the lemon, red pepper flakes, garlic, agave syrup and salt and pepper.  Whisk together.  Drizzle overtop of the asparagus, tomatoes and onions.  Serve.

For a variation you could add finely chopped hardboiled egg to this salad before adding the dressing.

It is yummy and yells…SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

 

 

 

 

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