Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Picking

One of the joys of spring - all the asparagus we can eat. We have a 25 foot row that has been producing for 25 years, enough each year for ourselves and to share with friends.

The first week it's strictly saute in a little butter. Then it's on to stir fries and other recipes. We are open to suggestions. We make a soup from the first Moosewood cookbook that we like and it freezes well.

For those of you who are lucky to grow asparagus yourself or able to get it from a local farmers market here is another one of our favorites recipes. Perfect side dish for dinner on a warm spring evening or a nice contribution to a pot luck.

Cold Gingered Asparagus

1/2 C. rice vinegar
1 1/2 T. finely minced fresh ginger
2 T. sugar
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. Chinese sesame oil
1/2 t. salt
1 t. soy sauce

Combine the vinegar and ginger in a small suace pan and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vinegar is about 50 percent reduced. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Set aside.

Steam trimmed asparagus spear in a sauce pan with a little water - 5-8 minutes. Rinse in very cold water. Drain and spread on towel to dry a bit.

Combine garlic, oils, salt, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Arrange the asparagus on a platter and drizzle this mixture all over it. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

About 1-2 hours before serving, spoon the vinegar mixture over the asparagus. Serve chilled or cool.

Yield: 4-5 serving
Make a few hours ahead of serving to allow time to chill.
* From Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu

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