Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring is here .... so it is asparagus, asparagus, asparagus

So many things to enjoy now that Spring is finally here in Canada .... and one of them is fresh asparagus!!!! Yes, we could eat it with our fingers in melted butter as they do in France or use one of the recipes below (my favourites).

Asparagus officinalis
The asparagus is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks and garlic.They have been cultivated for more than 2000 years in Southern Europe. The green type is most common but you can also find white asparagus.
Health benefits Asparagus only contain 24 calories per 100 grams and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of folic acid, vitamin A, B and vitamin C. They are also a good source of calcium and fiber. 100 grams provides 146 mg of vitamin B9 which amounts to 1/3 of our recommended daily allowance. Vitamin B9 is particularly important for pregnant women since not enough of it can cause spina bifida in babies.
Asparagus have detoxifying and diuretic effects. Their fibers help us clean out our gastrointestinal tract. They also help the body get rid of the excess water. Asparagus also contains the phytochemical glutathione, which has antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties


For the uninitiated ...... rinse the asparagus under cold running water, bend near the coarse end .... it will naturally snap where the "woody", uneatable area is, cover with cold water and bring to boil for 3 to 5 mins. (fork tender). Lay out on paper towel to drain and follow any of the recipes below. By the way, you can buy expensive asparagus cooking pots, use a steamer (good) or do what I do, lay out in a deep-sided saute (frying) pan (I find that saucepans are not the best).

Stir Fried Asparagus with Ginger and Cashews***
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cleaned and cut into 1 1/2" pieces, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
Heat the oils together in a wok or frying pan. Cook the ginger for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the asparagus and cook for 4 minutes, until barely tender and still bright green. Stir in soy sauce and cashews and continue cooking for 2 more minutes to heat through.
Makes 6 servings *** this recipe is for uncooked asparagus

1 comment:

Mayew said...

Thought for the day:

the most I can do for my friend is simply to be ''a friend''

Henry David Thoreau