Ingredient of the Week: Green Asparagus

What is it?

A spring vegetable that dates back to 3000 BC with the Egyptians, it was ingested as a vegetable and a diuretic medicine. Because they turn woody as they mature, only the young shoots are eaten. They are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc,folate, potassium, and fiber.

The most common type of asparagus we see in the U.S., the green asparagus, is not deprived of sunlight during growth (like its white counterpart), and is therefore green from the chlorophyll. Green asparagus is the most nutritious of the three colors: only slightly more nutritious than the white asparagus, but with less sugar than the purple variety.

How do I use it?

Asparagus is often eaten as an appetizer or a side dish. It can be eaten raw in salads, grilled, cooked in stews and soups, boiled or steamed and served with sauces (as in French cooking), or stir-fried with meats and other vegetables (as in Chinese food). The bottom portions of the stalks are often tougher and contain dirt so it is best to rinse well and even chop off prior to preparing.

Where can I find it?

When in season, asparagus can be found at any grocery store. I got mine at the new Whole Foods Market in Montrose.

Recipe: Asparagus with Feta and Truffle Oil I made this up on the fly when I was looking for something to add color to my dinner plate. Blanch the asparagus, then toss with feta cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil according to taste. Hurry, the season (typically from April through July though it can be bought year round) is almost over.

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Christine Ha
Contact: Christine Ha