Asparagus My Choice Vegetable for April!

Garlicky Asparagus:

It rained here in Encino all day Sunday and I loved it.  It also gave me some much needed down time to think about what I love to do most, besides hanging out with my family, it’s coming up with new recipes and cooking all day. The kids were cool with just chilling at home and we spent the day kicking it hard.  Me in the kitchen and feeding the family yummy dishes as I tried new things and some old.  I love days like these when I have time to just hang with the family no running out to do anything! Lazy days like this come few and far between, so when they come I stop to appreciate just being in the moment.  Being in the moment sounds like a great theme for the month of April?

I absolutely love vegetables. Lately, I’ve been having my own internal challenge cooking great tasty vegetable dishes. Veggie are so versatile and taste so good if you know what to do with them. Let’s see how many great dishes we can come up with using asparagus?

Ali in the Valley

Photo by: Ali

Recipe for Garlicky Asparagus:

Ingredients:

1 pound (1 bunch) fresh asparagus, bottoms trimmed if necessary 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp water 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half salt and pepper to taste shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation: In a large sauté pan with a lid, on high heat, add the asparagus, olive oil, water, and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes uncovered, or until the water has almost evaporated. Toss the asparagus with tongs, cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove the lid and toss the asparagus again. Put the lid back on and repeat until the asparagus are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. The asparagus may brown slightly in spots, which adds to the pan-roasted flavor. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot.

This is delicious garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Information on Asparagus:

Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

History

Already about 20,000 years ago, asparagus was eaten near Aswan in Egypt. It has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. Still in ancient times, it was known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans would even freeze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurius.

Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is rich in this compound.

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