What have you cooked the most since quarantine began? Beans? Dutch oven bread? How about asparagus? Gestalten’s new book, Eat Your Greens, out today, couldn’t have come at a better time. Focusing on the food category we probably all need a little more of while on a diet mostly consisting of pantry carbs and grains, the veggie-heavy cookbook recommends more than 700 ways to cook those fresh vegetables slowly wilting in your crisper. Case in point: asparagus, springtime’s ingredient of choice. Time to put that produce delivery to good use. Here are nine ways to prep it so you’ll never get bored.
Prepare and cook asparagus
Cut off the woody lower parts of asparagus stems where they break when the stem is flexed. Peel asparagus with a potato peeler, starting just below the tip, being careful not to leave any loose “threads.” Cook in a saucepan of salted water for 2 to 5 minutes for green asparagus and 10 to 20 minutes for white asparagus. The asparagus should be tender but retain some “bite.”
With yellow onion, white wine, stock, and cream
Peel green asparagus with a potato peeler, starting just below the tip. Save the peel. Chop the asparagus. Sauté in a saucepan in olive oil together with chopped yellow onion. Add a dash of white wine and cover with vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add a splash of cream together with the peel and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus is soft. Stir and strain. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice and cook green or white asparagus as described above, then stir into a risotto.
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add white or green asparagus peel. Turn off the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. When cold, place the oil in a jar and marinate for 2 to 3 days. Strain. Use asparagus oil in salad dressings and homemade mayonnaise, or drizzle over cooked fish.
With garlic, Parmesan, and lemon
Halve stems of peeled white or green asparagus lengthwise. Fry in olive oil with crushed garlic until soft and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter with grated Parmesan cheese and squeeze over lemon juice.
With egg and cheese
Cook and chop asparagus, then fry over high heat in a skillet with butter. Whisk together eggs, a dash of water, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the asparagus and, with a turner, pull the egg from the edges toward the center. Repeat several times. Lower the heat and fry until the eggs have set. Sprinkle the omelet with grated cheese.
Wrap prosciutto around cooked white or green asparagus. Fry in a skillet with a little olive oil for a few minutes.
With garlic, Parmesan, and basil
Put stems of peeled white or green asparagus, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper into an ovenproof dish. Roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until soft and golden brown. Add grated Parmesan cheese and top with shredded basil.
Prepare for broiling
Both green and white asparagus are very tasty broiled. Prepare white asparagus by peeling thoroughly and cooking quickly in salted water, then halving lengthwise before broiling.
Peel green asparagus only if its skin is thick and tough. Coat the asparagus stems with oil and place them under the broiler. Arrange on a platter and season with flavorings of your choice; for example, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.
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