What’s In Season? Asparagus!

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During the spring when vibrant produce abounds, these days you will hardly find a more popular veggie to adorn your menu. The beauty in the elegant asparagus spears lies in their versatility. Whether blanched, sautéed, or wrapped in salty prosciutto, you’ll love the way we’re serving them up.

Now is the best time to buy fresh asparagus, if you cannot get it fresh and local yet, many groceries having at a very good price. Asparagus is full of nutrition. Low in calories (only 25 per serving!) and sodium, and has no fat or cholesterol. A serving of Asparagus provides 10 percent of the daily requirement of foliate, eight percent of dietary fiber and potassium, and 100 percent of vitamin C. Including Asparagus in everyday meals and snacks can help prevent cancer, heart disease and hypertension. Asparagus has also proven to serve as a detoxifier, as an anti-aging vegetable, and to reduce inflammation.

Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces peeled shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet Asian chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 8 ounces asparagus

Directions

  • Toss the shrimp with the Asian Chili Sauce and lime juice.
  • Grill the asparagus, turning until tender, about 7 minutes. Grill shrimp, turning once, 2-3 minutes. Serve with additional sauce.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 82, Protein 12g, Carbohydrates 5g, Fiber1g, Fat 1g, Sodium 145mg.

 

Asparagus with Lemon Aioli Dip

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh asparagus

Directions

  1. Stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Serve dip with crisp cooked asparagus.

Serves 6. Each serving containsCalorie 32, Protein 1g, Carbohydrates 3g, Fiber 1g, Fat 2g, Sodium 27mg.

Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound (1-inch) diagonally cut trimmed asparagus
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ½ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus; sauté 3 ½ minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 6 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
  3. Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and toss pasta immediately with egg mixture. Add tomato mixture, tossing until sauce thickens. Divide pasta equally among 4 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with basil. Serve immediately.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 335, Fat 8.7 g, Protein 14.7 g, Carbohydrate 50.6 g, Fiber 5.2 g, Cholesterol 63 mg, Sodium 447 mg.

Asparagus Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Capers

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped seeded peeled plum tomato
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, steamed and cooled
  • 1 hard-cooked large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons capers

Directions

  1. Place 1 tablespoon parsley, shallots, salt, and garlic in a mortar or small bowl; grind with a small processor until mixture forms a smooth paste. Stir in red peppers and tomato. Add vinegar, oil, mustard, and black pepper; stir well to combine. Place asparagus in a shallow dish, and drizzle with pepper mixture. Gently toss asparagus and pepper mixture, using a serving fork and spoon. Place asparagus on a serving platter.
  2. Cut egg in half lengthwise; remove and reserve the yolk for another use. Chop egg white. Sprinkle egg white, capers, and remaining tablespoon of parsley evenly over asparagus.

Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 51, Fat 2.4g, Protein 2.4g, Carbohydrate 4.7g, Fiber 1.9g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Sodium 212 mg.

Ginger and Sesame Glazed Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
  2. Microwave soy sauce, honey, lime juice, ginger, and garlic on HIGH for 2 minutes. Arrange asparagus on a platter. Drizzle soy sauce mixture over asparagus; sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 43, Fat 0.8g, Sodium 134mg

Tortellini Primavera

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mushroom or cheese tortellini
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces sliced asparagus
  • 4 ounces sliced zucchini
  • 1 thinly sliced carrot
  • Shaved Parmesan

Directions

  1. Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Heat butter, and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth.
  2. Add asparagus, zucchini, and carrot, stirring until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add drained pasta and toss. Serve with lemon juice and pepper. Top with shaved Parmesan.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 240, Protein 9g, Carbohydrates 25g, Fiber 3g, Fat 12.5g, Sodium 573mg.