The asparagus season has already started and we now can find that delicacy in most stores. At the moment, they are imported from Mexico, Peru, Spain or Marocco, but soon we will be able to find our local ones (personally, I prefer regional and seasonal products that are available a lot later)...
This exquisite and versatile vegetable comes in various colors, depending on how long they stayed in contact with the light (photosynthesis). The asparagus which has only stayed in the soil and never saw the light is white. Then, once it's ends start to point out of the soil, it is slightly violet. But, if it stays totally out of the soil (15-20 cm) and is exposed to the rays of the sun, you'll get a green asparagus. While the white ones are very tender and have a light aroma, and the violet ones have a more fruity flavor, the green ones are undoubtedly the most complex in taste and are therefore more popular than the two other kinds.
When you buy asparagus, always choose those which have snappy and firm stems as well as those with tight points. Never take asparagus that have destroyed feet, soft/limp stems and flowering points. All those details are there to tell you that the asparagus which you are about to buy are NOT fresh at all!
It is very interesting to know that this vegetable is calorically poor, rich in fibers, and is a very good source of folate, vitamin A and potassium. It also contains asparagine, an acidic substance which confers it's particular flavor and which is a highly diuretic....
~ Asparagus With Parmesan And Fried Onions ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums
A bunch (500g) of Green asparagus
1-2 Tbs Melted butter
1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
5-6 Tbs Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs Breadcrumb dressing (optional)
2-3 Tbs Fried onions/shallots
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus.
2. Cook the asparagus in simmering water (with a pinch of salt), until tender, but still crisp.
3. Drain and place in a buttered oven dish.
4. Pour over the melted butter.
5. Sprinkle with the chopped garlic, the parmesan, the breadcrumb dressing (optional), then the fried onion/shallots.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Bake in the preheated oven at 180° C (350° F) for about 15-20 minutes, or until the parmesan is slightly golden in color and has melted.
8. Serve warm.
To test if your asparagus are cooked through, use the tip of a knife.
You could also use some béchamel for this dish. In that case, don't add any butter to the asparagus and pour the mixture before you add the other ingredients.
Serve alone with a salad or as accompaniment to meat or fish (ham, lamb steaks, salmon fillets, tuna steaks, etc...).