I loved the asparagus article in the April issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food. I was excited to discover some new ways to make asparagus, so please join me for my personal asparagus festival, also known as the Festival of Spears.
I make asparagus a lot, and particularly when my father’s crop comes in, I get bored with it. There are a few ways I normally make it. The first is just cut up and boiled with butter and salt and pepper. My preferred method is to roast it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I coat it in panko and pan fry it.
First up is the asparagus with goat cheese. I cooked my whole asparagus stalks in a pan with a tiny bit of water. They cooked very quickly. I sliced the goat cheese into rounds and coated them with flour then panko and froze them and quickly browned them in a pan. I loved the goat cheese on this! The rounds looked gorgeous and brown and so very professional. This is a terrific way to dress up plain asparagus with not a lot of work and I will definitely be making it again. This one is truly fab.
Asparagus experiment number two is Spaghetti with Shaved Asparagus. I was intrigued by this- I had never thought of shaving asparagus. Martha says to take a vegetable peeler and peel shavings off your asparagus. This was a totally weird thing to do and let me just say it is pretty wasteful. You do not use the tops (and as my mother, Big MarthaAndMe will tell you, the tops are the best part, since she and her brother used to fight over them) and you end up wasting a good portion of the spear itself.
You boil some spaghetti (I used whole wheat) and reserve some of the cooking water. Then you add the shaved asparagus and lemon shavings. Drain it and add butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice and reserved water which comes together to make a very light sauce. You shave some parmesan over the top at the end.
This is interesting looking, but the thing is you do not taste the asparagus at all! It just tastes like a mouthful of pasta with something green in it. I was quite disappointed by that. First you waste so much of the asparagus, then you don’t even taste it? Bah! Skip this one – I wouldn’t make it again. Asparagus tally? One yes, one no.
Asparagus with Mustard Sauce
Now for asparagus recipe number three, Asparagus with Creamy Mustard Sauce. This tells you to steam your asaparagus and chill it. Then you mix up a quick cold sauce with mayo, olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. That’s it! Pour the sauce over your asparagus and go to town. I thought the mustard sauce had a nice flavor. This strikes me as a summer dish though. It would taste wonderful for a supper on a hot day. At this time of year it was not so terrific as a cold dish, although it had a nice flavor, it just was not palate pleasing to eat a cold vegetable.
Total tally: One definite, one maybe and one no.