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Asparagus 3 Ways

There’s still time to enjoy one of spring’s most popular veggies–asparagus.  Asparagus is available year round, but right now it’s at its peak of flavor and you’ll be able to get it at some great prices.  Adding it to your diet is a good nutritional choice as well since it’s fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, low in calories, a good source of vitamin C, high in folate, and a good source of vitamin A.  I’ve collected three very different ways to enjoy this vegetable, but all are equally delicious.

 

Let’s start with Balsamic Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes.  Roasting asparagus enhances the natural sweetness of the veggie, so you’ll want to opt for this cooking choice when you can.  Add one pound of asparagus (with the tough end pieces snapped off) and two cups of cherry tomatoes cut in half to a baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes until the asparagus begins to soften and browns a bit.  In the meantime, add 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and heat until it begins to thicken.  Drizzle over the asparagus and tomatoes and serve warm.

 

balsamic-parmesan-roasted-asparagus-and-tomatoes
Courtesy of Jo Cooks

 

Creamy Asparagus Risotto is a delicious side dish.  You’ll need a bunch of fresh asparagus, long grain white rice, chicken broth, diced onion, crushed garlic, half and half, grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, butter, fresh basil, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper.   Cooking times can vary for this dish depending on your brand of rice.  You’ll want to cook longer and add more liquid if needed.

 

Creamy-Asparagus-Rice
Courtesy of Mom Endeavors

 

Asparagus Tomato and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette is a terrific side dish or light lunch.  Your salad base consists of cooked asparagus (make sure you don’t over cook them–they should be crisp-tender), halved grape tomatoes, toasted, chopped walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese.  A tangy vinaigrette is made by combining balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

 

asparagus_salad18.
Courtesy of Cooking Classy

 

Check back next week when I’ll have some ideas for cooking with artichokes.

 

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