Sunday, April 26, 2009

Go Green..... Eat Your Asparagus

Now that spring is here and the tender shoots of asparagus are showing up more frequently in the market, I have found some interesting and different ways to use it other than as a side for dinner. Our favorite way is to just roast it in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. But to jazz it up a bit, I found a recipe that used roasted asparagus but with a delicious sounding dressing made from good Parmesan cheese. I also found a great appetizer that uses blanched asparagus spears. Making food fun and interesting is what will set you apart from the crowd and with your kids. Especially with the kids, if you find something they like and can incorporate it with something new (especially if they helped select it) they are more likely to try it. I did not like asparagus until about 8 or 9 years ago. Why? I don't have a clue. Mostly it was a fear of trying something new. It so happened I was at a dinner party where it was served with a lovely light lemon sauce. So I branched out and tried it. What? I loved it! Why didn't I try this before? So my taste expanded. Now I am no longer afraid to use this springtime delight in many different ways. Here are a couple of ideas for you to try that have been successful for me.

3 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved from a block of cheese. (You cannot used the grated stuff from the store)
1 1/2 cups water
5 Tbsp minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 Tbsp Champagne vinegar
2 lbs asparagus, trimmed and thick stalks removed (use all green or green and white)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Simmer the cheese and the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until a milky liquid forms. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a small saucepan and discard the solids. Boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup (8-10 minutes).
Transfer to a small bowl and add 3 Tbsp. minced shallots and vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook all the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water.
Transfer to bowl of ice water and cool completely. Drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place asparagus in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes until crisp tender.

Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp shallots. When asparagus is done, place on a platter and sprinkle shallots and dressing over. Sprinkle with a little more fresh cracked black pepper.


1 lb. fresh asparagus
6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto

5.2 oz pkg Boursin cheese

1/4 cup honey mustard Black pepper

Snap tough end off asparagus, peel and remove 3/4 -in from bottom ends and trim into a point. Place asparagus in a deep skillet of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes until crisp tender. Carefully drain and rinse under cold running water. Blot dry.

Separate slices of prosciutto and cut each slice in half, lengthwise.

Place one strip of prosciutto on a flat surface and spread with 1/2 tsp Boursin cheese, 1/2 tsp honey mustard and freshly ground black pepper.

Place asparagus spears at a 90 degree angle on the shot end of the prosciutto strip. Carefully roll up as tightly as possible. Place on a platter and serve.


  1. Love asparagus! The asparagus wrapped in prosciutto sound especially appealing. YUMM

  2. What great ideas asparagus is my favorite. Wow perfect.

  3. These sound so simple and delightful. Boursin makes everything so good!


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