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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cook and Gardener Agree - Homegrown Asparagus Wows

The cook and gardener of a local estate were happily in agreement that homegrown asparagus trumps the stuff shipped in from Mexico this time of year to local supermarkets.

"There's no comparison," said the Cook, when asked about her preference.  "You can definitely taste the difference, and that's attributable to its freshness.  Gardener harvested some for me yesterday, and the rest came in this morning.  What a difference to the store-bought stuff!" she effused.

"Growing asparagus is super easy," chimed in the Gardener.  "You just dig at least an eight inch trench in fertile, well-drained soil, pop in the asparagus crowns, cover them up and wait a couple of years. This bunch appeared to be two-year old crowns.  The spears coming up this spring are way bigger than last year's. Once they start getting thin again, I'll quit harvesting.  But in the meantime, Cook sure knows what to do with them."

Cook later explained that she has a handy asparagus peeler that she bought in Germany when there.  The peeler looks similar to a regular vegetable peeler, except that it's constructed with two peelers opposite each other so that the asparagus is peeled on either side at the same time.  "It's great for peeling carrots really quickly too," she said.

This pair ought to be happy for a few more weeks because it's only the beginning of asparagus season.


sew susie said...

Paula, your asparagus looks delicious, in fact the whole meal does.
How many plants would I need for a family of three adults?
Though, I am the one who would consume the most of it(my favorite veg).

Paula said...

sew susie- I have twenty-five plants in the ground for two people. Unless you're growing from seed (and you seriously need the patience of a saint to do that), asparagus appears to be sold only in bundles of twenty-five. So I would say only twenty-five if the rest of the eaters are not so crazy about it, but fifty if you all like it. You'll need to dedicate a lot of room for it, but the up side is that you plant it once.

One of my favorite dishes for asparagus is a German one: you par cook the asparagus, arrange it in an oven proof dish (I use a porcelain platter), cover it in a layer of prosciutto, and then a layer of Swiss cheese, and then cook it in a medium oven until the cheese is all melted and bubbly. Delish.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Wow! Your asparagus is up already? I'm jealous!!

My fav way for asparagus is cooked on the grill - little eevo and fresh grated parm. Yum...

Paula said...

That sounds good too!