This is the earliest I have ever seen asparagus. The warm weather in February warmed up the soil, and the asparagus is already up! The cold hardly mattered. Spring is amazing because, in a matter of weeks, the produce world goes from mostly collard greens, onions, and sweet potatoes, to some of the best produce all year! Our CSA (click the big green “Join Here” button on the top right of this page to join) begins in April, and our members will get fresh spring asparagus, as well as tender spring lettuce, sweet onions, mint, and fresh pesticide-free strawberries. That’s just to mention a few of the great things! Wow, what a plethora of yumminess that all shows up in April!
Here are some things I would do with the fresh spring asparagus. Wrap it in a wet paper towel and microwave it for 2 minutes. Unwrap it, add fresh butter, add seasalt and enjoy the simple fresh flavor of just cut asparagus. Nothing else is like it!
Or try this: buy some mushrooms and green garlic or ramps at the market. Sauté the ramps or green garlic in a good chunk of butter (or ghee), and when soft, add a bunch of chopped mushrooms; when mushrooms are soft, add chopped asparagus. Finish with sea salt.
This next recipe came from a market Dad: sauté shallots in olive oil or butter. When fragrant, add fresh washed chopped asparagus (with the water from washing still on it), sautee just a few minutes until bright, add a splash of wine vinegar and sea salt. This one really impressed me! It was so so yummy. Then I got creative and combined recipe number two with this one. I added mushrooms to the mix.
You could also try it this way: Spread asparagus on a cookie sheet and toss it with olive oil. Add coarse salt and parmesan cheese. Roast at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and the cheese is slightly browning. Add a little squeeze of lemon and serve it up.
Or grill it up along with a steak! Toss whole asparagus in olive oil. Throw it on the grill for just a few minutes, after the steak is cooked and it is resting. When the asparagus gets some grill lines on it, it is done. Finish with sea salt, or even a fancy salt like truffle salt. A squeeze of lemon is really great on grilled asparagus also.
Eat up those lovable veggies in your CSA bag!