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Asparagus, April’s vegetable

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This month look for this wonderfully, flavorful vegetable at your local farmer’s market. Asparagus packs in a ton of good vitamins and minerals in those stalks! Steam it, pickle it, sauté it, roast it — the possibilities are endless!

When buying asparagus, choose stalks that are bright green with purple shaded tight tips; these are the most tender and tasty. It is best to cook it soon after buying, because asparagus can become tough and woody after several days.

Storing asparagus properly in your refrigerator can help keep it tender if you can’t cook it right away. Place it upright with the cut ends in water or wrapped in wet paper towels and covered with plastic to keep the stalks moist.

Locally grown asparagus is available now until June, so be sure to take advantage of the season and taste the difference!

Asian Asparagus Salad
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 ½ Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sugar or artificial sweetener
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame seeds

Snap off and discard the root ends of the asparagus.  Wash remaining stalks thoroughly.  Slice stalks into 11/2 inch lengths on the diagonal.  Blanch asparagus for 1-3 minutes in boiling water, until bright green in color.  Cool immediately under cold water and drain.  Combine soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, and sesame seeds in a small glass bowl.  Mix dressing until sugar is dissolved.  In a gallon size zip-seal bag, add asparagus and dressing.  Turn bag to coat asparagus with dressing and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Turn bag again and chill for another 15 minutes before serving.  Yield : 4, ½ cup servings.

Recipe from the Kentucky Proud Project – County Extension Agents for Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Kentucky, Nutrition and Food Science students.
 
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

Jane Proctor is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer services.