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This week veggie box feature… for the love of Asparagus!

You know it’s mid Spring in Ontario when the local Asparagus is ready! Who doesn’t love it?! In honour of this week being the first week of local Asparagus season I’m sharing easy and delicious recipes featuring this delicious Spiring vegetable. 

It’s also perfect timing because many of these recipes would be a wonderful addition to celebration menus this weekend for all the Special Women in your Life. Whether you are making brunch or dinner for them! Nothing says “Thank you” and I love you” like a home cooked meal with local ingredients.

Wishing all the Amazing Moms, Grandmothers, Aunts, God-Mothers and Fur Mamas in this Community a wonderful day on Sunday.

 

Recipes

 

Asparagus Lemon Pasta

Created by: It’s a Keeper

This Asparagus Lemon Pasta tastes gourmet, yet only takes 30 minutes to make. Your family will love this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

12 oz penne pasta

1 lb asparagus - ends removed and cut into 2” pieces

½ cup frozen peas

2 TBSP unsalted butter

8 oz heavy cream

Zest of 1 lemon

2 TBSP lemon juice

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

1 cup pasta water

Shredded parmesan for serving

Instructions:

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions.

2. Add chopped asparagus and frozen peas to the pasta water and cook for the remaining 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the remainder. Set pot of pasta and veggies aside.

3. In a large skillet on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and spices. Stir and allow the cream to come to a low simmer. Adjust spices and/or lemon juice to taste.

4. Pour the creamy sauce over the pot of pasta and veggies. Toss to combine.

5. Stir in ¼ cup of pasta water at a time until desired sauce consistency is reached.

6. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan and a dash of extra crushed red pepper.

Notes:

1. Add Shrimp: Adding grilled shrimp to this lemon pasta with asparagus makes for the perfect addition.

2. Add Chicken: To add some protein to this lemony pasta with asparagus you can include grilled chicken.

3. Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free sub the normal pasta for a chickpea or gluten-free pasta.

 

Roasted Asparagus and Carrots

Created By: Cook Rita

This recipe is vegan, easy to make, and delicious! A great dinner side dish.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus, woody part of asparagus cut and trimmed

1 lb regular carrots, peeled and cut into strips, similar size to Asparagus

2 TBSP olive oil or cooking oil

1 TBSP lemon juice, freshly squeezed

½ of 1 lemon zest

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the asparagus removing the woody ends. Cut the carrot in similar thickness to the asparagus. I used smaller and younger carrots that are not overly tough and will cook faster together with asparagus.

2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

3. Arrange vegetables in one single layer. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper, and mix with your hands. I love adding lemon zest to the mix, but this is optional.

4. Bake Asparagus with carrots in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

5. Before serving, add a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish it with fresh parsley.

 

Sautéed Asparagus and Mushrooms

Created by: Aysegul Sanford

This recipe is an easy, quick and simple side dish ready in less than 10 minutes! Make it at the height of asparagus and mushroom season to serve alongside main dishes like chicken, meat, vegetables, or anything you please.

 

Ingredients:

1 TBSP vegetable oil olive oil or avocado oil would work

2 cloves garlic minced

2 bunches asparagus woody ends removed, cut into smaller pieces

8 oz. white or cremini mushrooms

½ tsp kosher salt more or less to taste

¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions:

1. Sauté garlic: Heat oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add in garlic and sauté for a minute.

2. Sauté vegetables: Add asparagus and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms release their juices and asparagus is tender for about 5-7 minutes.

3. Finish and serve: Season with salt and pepper. Serve while still warm.

Note: The finishing touch: While it is optional, you can finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice for a Mediterranean flair or a splash of soy sauce (with a sprinkle of sesame seeds) for an Asian flair.

 

 

Chopped Asparagus Salad

Created by: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme

This is the easiest and best spring salad ever - colourful, vibrant, flavourful, light, and crunchy. A great addition to brunch, lunch or dinner!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 lb. asparagus (about half bunch), trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

3 cups mixed greens

15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1 cup cucumbers, halved and sliced 1/2 cup red onion, diced 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil juice from

1/2 lemon

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

Instructions:

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain.

2. In a large bowl, combine mixed greens, asparagus chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

3. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.

4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add more salt and black pepper to taste.

 

Notes:

1. How to blanch cook the asparagus: Make sure to blanch cook the asparagus for 2 minutes only, then immediately immerse them in ice water to stop the cooking process. This will ensure that the asparagus retains its crunch instead of getting too soft and limp.

2. How to customize: You can make a complete meal out of this salad by adding in some protein.

Some great options to add are shredded chicken, grilled shrimp, salmon, hard-boiled eggs, or tuna.

3. How to serve: Chopped asparagus salad is the perfect side to a spring entree, or as a side dish on a Mother’s Day menu.

 

Crustless Asparagus Quiche

Created By: Lisa MarcAurele

A crustless quiche with asparagus and baby spinach leaves. It's a true morning treat that takes very little effort to make. A great breakfast or brunch recipe!

 

Ingredients:

8 ounces asparagus cooked

2 cups baby spinach leaves

6 eggs beaten

2 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese grated

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated (can stuff is fine)

cloves garlic minced

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Grease a 9-inch pie pan.

2. Combine eggs with 2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese and garlic.

3. Reserve about ¼ cup of the egg mixture.

4. Stir spinach leaves in remaining egg mixture and pour into the prepared pan. Layer asparagus on top of egg mixture in pan.

5. Pour reserved egg mixture on top.

6. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese on top.

7. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until edges start to brown.

 

 

 

Friendly Reminder: Looking for additional inspiration? ALL recipes from the past two years are available on the blog for reference. 😊


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