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Spring Offerings

by Pat Maley
April 18, 2019

It's great that we can have blueberries in December and zucchini at any time of the year.  Raspberries from Chile and strawberries from Mexico make me feel like Queen of the Garden. In any given week our menus can pretty much include any fruit or vegetable without regard for local weather and growing season. On the flip side there seems to be a growing ignorance for when the apples are harvested locally. Produce availability has changed in the last 30 years. I am old enough (but only slightly) to remember the joy of when the tomatoes were ready or what a  green pepper fresh from the garden smells like. It is Nature's clock that I celebrate when I start to see asparagus grace the produce bins. I accept that things have changed, it's not really local, and I am not really the queen. Asparagus still means Spring.

Hadley, Massachusetts, known as "the asparagus capital of the world," holds a festival to celebrate each year. This year the event will be held June 2nd. Most Massachusetts asparagus will be available between May 1 and May 30 but could still be harvested as late as the end of June.  Nationwide it is a spring crop and often heralds the gardening season.

My love of asparagus is relatively new. My Dad didn't choose to eat a lot of vegetables. He narrowed his choices to canned peas and frozen peas. How could my Mother convince us to try a "No Thank you Bite" if Dad didn't lead by example? I managed to slide through childhood without having to eat anything that looked gross or smelled funny. As an adult it was easier to eat said vegetables rather than explain. It was roasted asparagus that brought me into the light. I started to realize what I had been missing.

If you have always boiled or steamed this gem please try it roasted or grilled. You too will find a whole new joy in seeing asparagus in the grocery store or at the farmers market.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS

1 pound of asparagus- I love the skinny ones but at the very least make sure the stalks are of similar size

lemon juice

olive oil

chopped shallots-optional

This is more of a suggestion than a recipe as amounts are left up to you. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the asparagus by rinsing it well. I cut off the fibrous ends. Line up the spears in a baking pan and sprinkle with enough lemon juice and olive oil to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add shallots if desired. Roast for 12-15 minutes. Serve with lemon slices. Great cold in salads or incorporated into the next mornings omelet. Let me know if you tried it this way!

 

 

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Comments (2)

THIS IS ALSO THE TIME OF YEAR WHEN I CAN GET RHUBARB IN THE GROCERY FOR. I PURCHASE ENOUGH SO I CAN MAKE PIES WITH STRAWBERRIES. THE PIES FREEZE WELL.

REGARS FROM FLORIDA

- JOE COHEN | 4/19/19 8:22 AM

Thank you so much for this information asparagus is my favorit vertable I will have a happy May.

- jean morrissey | 4/18/19 7:44 AM

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