If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.William Morris.

Friday, April 6, 2012

So Much Asparagus, Need a Recipe


I just love asparagus!!!
My asparagus is growing like crazy in the beds I had planted 9 years ago and seeing how it is over 3 years established,  I can harvest spears for 3 weeks. I have a bed that is 25' long and 2.5' wide with 20 plants/crowns. I have been harvesting the spears for a week now and in this first week I have harvested 5.5 lbs.

So as you can see I have a bunch, a big bunch to do something with. Yesterday on our local TV channel they had a great soup recipe that sounded wonderful. We tried it tonight and  "the man of the place"  loved it, even thou it was healthy. It was very good. But I had more asparagus than what the soup called for so I froze the rest.  I used the spears to freeze and the stalks for the soup. To freeze them cut the ends off and leave about 5- 6" spear tips. Cut the stalks into 2" pieces. Need to blanch the spears for 1 - 2 minutes and then put in ice water. Dry and freeze  in freezer bags, jars for freezing or container. 
You probably notice that I have the spear in jars with water, that is how you store your spears until you are ready to eat them. I make sure the end are clean and put them in a jar with a couple of inches of fresh water and put them in the frig. They will stay crisp and fresh for a week or so. Need to change the water at least ever other day.
I came across this website looking for some info on care, this is an excellent site, link is at the end of facts.


facts about asparagusacts about Asparagusfacts about asparagus


  • Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
  • Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.
  • Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period.
  • Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.
  • The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking...early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours.
  • After harvesting is done the spears grow into ferns, which produce red berries and the food and nutrients necessary for a healthy and productive crop the next season.

  • An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
  • A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
  • The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
  • Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamine.
  • Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.

  • For more information go to where I got these facts Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

    (Now here is the recipe I saw. I used chicken broth and half and half instead of cream. I did not use the lemon, only added it for the picture. Good without it)



    Asparagus And Leek Vichyssoise

    • 2 medium leeks

    • 1 pound asparagus (you can use thick or thin stalks for this)

    • 1 large potato, about 8 ounces (I like to use Yukon Gold)

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock

    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    • 1/4 cup heavy cream

    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving

    • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

    1. Chop off and discard the tough green ends of the leeks. Cut through the leeks lengthwise and wash them out completely. Cut crosswise into half-moons; set aside.

    2. Trim off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus. Cut spears into 1-inch pieces, keeping the tips separate; set spears aside.

    3. Peel and roughly dice the potato.

    4. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, chopped asparagus spears (not the tips) and potato to the saucepan, stirring to coat with the butter. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 4 minutes, making sure the leeks, spears and potatoes don't brown at all. Stir in stock and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in asparagus tips and cook for 10 minutes.

    5. Puree the soup in batches until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl or large plastic container and stir in cream and yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring soup to room temperature and then chill. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle with lemon zest.

    Serves 4 to 6


    If you have a chance, find a place to put a bed of asparagus in. They are a very pretty plant and would make a great addition to your ornamental  landscape beside your garden patch.


    Till next time
    Kat
    =^..^=

    9 comments:

    1. Mmm...sounds great! Potatoes and leeks make for a great base. Thanks for all the facts, I didn't know about that three year rule :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Yes, and boy is it hard not to pick all of them. I started by after 1st year - pick 1 week, after 2nd year- pick 2weeks and then after 3 years - pick for 3 weeks

        Delete
    2. Have you tried pickling them?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. No I haven't. I'll have to find a recipe in my books and try that.

        Delete
    3. I serve asparagus with lamb and have found a fabulous cheese sauce recipe that complements both the meat and the veg. In fact, we've steamed asparagus twice this week and served it with the cheese sauce.
      Debbi

      ReplyDelete
    4. Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter


      40 asparagus spears, trimmed (about 2 pounds)
      Cooking spray
      1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
      1/8 teaspoon black pepper
      2 tablespoons butter
      2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
      1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

      Preheat oven to 400°.

      Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until tender.

      Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Make sure not to burn it just get it to a point where the butter has a nutty smell. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Drizzle over the asparagus, tossing well to coat. Serve immediately

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Oh this sounds so good. I love roasted veggies and sometimes I forget to try other veggie than the usual ones I do. Thank you

        Delete
    5. I used to blanch asparagus also, but now I just clean them, and freeze them in portions needed. Then I take them out, put them on a cookie tray with some oil, salt, and pepper, and put it in the oven for 1/2 to 1 hr, till they are soft enough to eat.

      ReplyDelete

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