Asparagus

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Asparagus is one of the most recognizable symbols of spring. Its season is fleeting, with an average healthy patch yielding for only six to eight weeks. These tender shoots are one of the first things to emerge from the ground as the sun rises earlier each day. But it’s not just the warmth that brings these springtime treasures from their underground dwellings. This perennial, related to the lily, needs a cold winter to thrive. If the ground doesn’t freeze, it is difficult for the plant to go dormant and regenerate. Asparagus takes three to four years to begin producing from seed, but it can regenerate itself for fifteen years or more. It’s an old joke among homeowners who garden that a productive asparagus bed is a good reason to renovate rather than move.”

~Steven Satterfield

Purchasing: When purchasing asparagus ahead of time, keep the stem ends moist by standing upright in about a half-inch of water in the refrigerator or lying on the refrigerator shelf in a plastic bag with the ends wrapped in wet paper towels.

Traditionally, and according to Emily Post, asparagus is a finger food. Cooked properly rather than overcooked, it is still crisp and difficult to cut, shooting across the table if attempted.

Grilled Asparagus

1 pound asparagus
2 to 4 tablespoons oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to approximately 450 degrees.  Toss asparagus with oil, and spread them into a single layer on a grill. They are best if browned slightly, but you’re the cook.

 

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