This springtime metaphor, (coined by Barbara Kingsolver in her locavoristic memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle), holds particular charm here in Jackson Hole, where waiting for spring, and then summer, is just what we do. We are patient.
I threw the spears into the pasta water a few minutes shy of al dente, drained it all into a colander, then tossed with freshly grated Parmesan, a pat of butter, a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. Nearly instant asparagus heaven.
- To store, place asparagus upright in a glass of water, ends submerged by a few inches. Cover with a plastic bag, and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To buy, choose spears that are firm, straight, and smooth.
- Thick or thin? Thick spears are usually more tender than thin ones. Fatter spears have more juicy flesh between the fibers that run from crown to root.
- White, green or purple? Green asparagus is what we mostly see here, but you may spy a purple or white variety at a farmers' market or at a fancy restaurant. White asparagus is milder than the green. It is buried in the soil and kept out of the sun while it grows, to keep it from making chlorophyll. Purple asparagus is sweeter and more tender than the green. It's grown in the northwest of Italy, and in California, so it's possible that you'll spy a bunch that has been trucked in.
- To prepare, snap off the woody white ends; it should break naturally where the stem starts to toughen.
For a printable version of each recipe, click on the file below it.
Ginger Scallion Asparagus
- 2 1/2 cups finely sliced scallions, green and white, from 1-2 large bunches.
- 1/2 cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil
- 1/2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1 bunch fresh green asparagus
- First, make the sauce. Mix the scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt. Let sit for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the asparagus.
- Clean your asparagus, and snap off the woody, white ends. Dry with a towel.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus spears and sear until you see a few brown spots.
- Stir up the sauce and add about 1/2 cup to the pan. Lower the heat to medium, and quickly saute the asparagus so that they are covered with sauce.
- When the asparagus are almost a crispy brown, and the sauce has reduced a bit and coats the stalks nicely, remove from the heat and serve.
- Extra ginger scallion sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- thin slices of prosciutto, one for each asparagus
- Wash and dry the asparagus, and snap off the woody white ends.
- Wrap each stalk with one slice of prosciutto, so that it fits snuggly without covering the tip.
- Place on a tray in the refrigerator while you heat the grill.
- Grill the asparagus over medium-high heat until the prosciutto is crispy but not burnt. You could also roast the asparagus in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve as an appetizer, or alongside grilled meat.