Don’t overdo it – you want asparagus full of nutrients and flavour, with a crisp texture. Thin spears may need less than three minutes. To speed cooking of thick spears, cut an “X” in the bottom of each stalk. Add enough water in saucepan to just cover asparagus. Cook until tender and crisp, drain well. To serve cold or use in a recipe that calls for cooked asparagus, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, then pat dry and refrigerate until needed. To grill, line up asparagus in row; skewer through centre using metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Lightly brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Barbecue over medium heat until tender, 3 to 6 minutes.
Food Specialist www.foodthought.com
Lemon & Thyme Asparagus
ingredients: 2 small lemons 3/4 cup (175 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1-1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) minced garlic Two 3-to 4-inch sprigs fresh thyme 3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 lb. (454g) asparagus, grilled or blanched preparation: With a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemons in strips. Remove any white pith from the strips of zest. In a small saucepan, heat the lemon zest, oil, garlic, and thyme over low heat until the oil just begins to bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the garlic, or it will taste bitter. Transfer the mixture to a small heatproof bowl; remove the zest and thyme sprigs with a fork or tongs. Stir in the parsley; serve over grilled or blanched asparagus.
Go to www.foodthought.com for recipes featuring Ontario Asparagus.