Asparagus is one of the first signs of spring. May is National Asparagus Month. asparagus is about to be in season in Saskatchewan and will be in season until the end of June. Let’s discover the asparagus:
- When are they in season this year?
- How to choose the right asparagus?
- Where to find local asparagus
- How to store asparagus?
- What health benefits does the asparagus provide?
- Asparagus inspired recipes
Let's discover the asparagus
When are asparagus in season?
Asparagus are expected to be in season starting the week of May 21st until the end of June.
How to choose the right asparagus?
Fine asparagus are less tender than larger ones, because they are proportionally richer in woody fibres. Choose asparagus whose tips are well closed and compact.
Where to find asparagus?
You can find local asparagus at the farmer’s market and at most farms where you can buy vegetables. Frontier gardens in Lumsden, SK is an example of a farm where you can get asparagus directly from the farm where they grew. Some farms even offer asparagus picking. I even found wild ones at Wascana Park in Regina.
How to store asparagus?
The longer the asparagus is kept before eating it, the more fibrous it will be, especially at room temperature. Their sugars quickly turn into starch.
- Refrigerator: First wrap the base of the asparagus with a damp paper towel and put it in a plastic bag. Or, place them upright in a jar containing 5 cm of water. They will keep for 1 or 2 weeks;
- Freezer: Boil the asparagus for 3 minutes and freeze. Asparagus will keep for about 8 months. Cook them without defrosting them.
Asparagus is a good detox food to cleanse your body before summer. Asparagus is low in calories and is also rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Some other benefits of asparagus are:
- Asparagus promotes the balance of the intestinal flora. This spring vegetable provides effective prebiotics that promote the growth of probiotic bacteria in the intestines, where they affect fat metabolism.
- Asparagus is satiating. Asparagus is rich in fiber.
- Asparagus is good for pregnant women. Asparagus is rich in folate. 100 g of asparagus (6 stalks) provide 20% of the daily folate (folic acid) requirement for pregnant women to limit the risk of malformations of the nervous system in the foetus. 5 stems provide 25% of the daily requirement for the general population.
- Asparagus fights against aging of the skin: Asparagus is rich in antioxidants with vitamins A, C and E, asparagus is a powerful anti-aging agent and prevents certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. It would also be recommended when one suffers from memory or concentration problems.
- Asparagus purifies the kidneys. asparagus is made up of more than 90% water and contains an amino acid (asparagine) which eliminates toxins and excess salt present in the body.
These aspargus topped with fresh parsley, shallots and lemon zest are an explosion of flavour.
This is ready in 15 minutes and makes a great side.
- Prep Time 10 Minutes
- Cook Time 2-3 Minutes
- Total Time 15 Minutes
- makes 4 servings
- 1 lb asparagus
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely cut
- 1 tbsp shallot or red onion finely diced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the asparagus until al dente - 2 to 3 minutes. Drain.
- In a bowl, combine the parsley, shallot and lemon zest. Place the asparagus in a serving dish and drizzle with oil.
- Garnish the asparagus with gremolata. season with salt and pepper.
This rich chocolate icing tastes like truffles. It is perfect for the Queen of Sheeba cake or any other dessert you’d like to top with creamy chocolate icing.
- Total Time 45 Minutes
- serves 4-6
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 lbs asparagus cut in 2 cm pieces and cooked for 2-3 minutes
- 3/4 cup Parmesan
- salt & pepper
- In a saucepan, sauté the onion in oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and garlic cook 1 minute. Add the wine and reduce until almost dry.
- Add broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently until liquid is completely absorbed between each addition. Salt and pepper.
- After 20 minutes of cooking, add the cooked asparagus, the parmesan and mix well. Adjust seasoning.