Oh, it is the season, and I love it! If you follow Books & Spoons on Instagram you might have gotten that idea already.
I'm a big fan of asparagus, to the point that my morning routine these days includes a smoothie that is made with asparagus, kale, and pineapple juice. I know, what, right?! But it is actually really good, and really good for you as well.
The thickness of the stem tells you the sex of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from the female plants. Asparagus is the only vegetable that has distinct male and female version. The thicker stalks can be woody, but it is really easy to snap the woody part away. Just take the stem in your hands and gently bend it, and the woody part will break off. If you peel the asparagus it will poach much faster, but the very thin male stems don't usually require peeling.
A classic way to serve asparagus is to wrap it in Parma ham and bake/grill them so that the ham is crispy, yet the asparagus still has a little crunch to it. In my oven, it was just about 20 minutes, but that old faithful is not the most efficient in the markets.
It can be served as an appetizer as it is, with the Parma ham around it. Or you can build a full meal out of it with a green salad and fruit served with it, like I did. It was a perfect meal on one of those rare, hot spring days up here north. With a smaller portion size, you can make that into a starter, too.
The ham is salty, so I didn't add any more salt to the asparagus. Little freshly ground pepper on top of the salad and it should be just lovely.
I hope you are enjoying the season. Till next time
I'm a chef and a pastry chef, and I love food. Preparing a meal for someone is a show of love; for your craft, for the ingredients, and for the ones eating.
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