ASPARAGUS would have to be one of the most sought after ingredients in a professional kitchen. With the arrival of the first box of freshly picked asparagus, any chef with an appreciation of the seasons can tell spring is just around the corner.
The asparagus season is very short — a month or two at its best. However, this tasty morsel is unbeatable for freshness and flavor, so make the most of it while you can. Simply steam or grill over hot coals, and you won’t be disappointed. Or, if you’re lucky enough to stumble across an abundance of it at a local market, asparagus is easy to turn into a warm or chilled healthy soup.
Seek out asparagus with firm stems, and clean and undamaged tips to guarantee quality and freshness. All you need to do to prepare is give it a quick wash, or for larger pieces — bend the spear until it snaps and throw the woody end away.
Small tender asparagus can be chopped and added to stir fry dishes or pastas without cooking, giving your dish the distinct flavor of fresh asparagus.
This week we will match a bunch of stemmed asparagus with a traditional garnish of a soft boiled hens egg with shavings of Parmesan cheese.