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Fresh asparagus makes for easy appetizer

April 23rd, 2007 · No Comments · recipes

Among the many great things about asparagus are that it cooks quickly and that it’s good hot or cold. The following appetizer ideas make quick work of your spring appetizers.

asparagus

First, prep the asparagus: Choose firm, fresh asparagus with tight heads. Wash. Snap off woody end. Pare away lower skin, if desired. (It’s prettier that way; haven’t check on the nutritional value.) Steam about 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Don’t let it get limp! Run under cold water or drop in ice water to arrest cooking and retain color.

Next, doll it up–but only a little. Asparagus is such a treat this time of year, you don’t want to do too much to it. It still needs to be the star of the show. Here are some possibilities. Each assumes you have about 1 pound steamed, cooled asparagus.

  • Get 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced. Cut the slices in half crosswise and wrap a piece around each spear.
  • Make a quick dip from 1/2 cup light mayonnaise and the grated zest of a lemon. Mix well. Thin with a little lemon juice or milk if desired. Add pepper to taste.
  • Another quick dip: Puree a 7.25-ounce jar of roasted red peppers (drained) with a garlic clove and 1 cup crumbled feta cheese. Add olive oil as needed to achieve desired consistency, and add pepper to taste. Better if flavors are allowed to develop in the refrigerator a few hours.

Those are a few ideas. It’s a place to start, anyway. I also love cold asparagus as a salad with a simple vinaigrette. Local readers: The Pendletons were predicting the asparagus would be back this week. I haven’t had a chance to check, but you can ask for yourself!

p.s. You can also eat it raw, of course, but I like mine steamed a bit or blanched.

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