Ahhh....the harbinger of spring, at least as far as food is concerned. Asparagus. Nothing beats it. Nothing.
The very first thing we did when we bought our little farm was to start an asparagus patch. Well, first we cleared the bamboo that we feared might take down the barn and workshop but THEN we planted asparagus.
My parents gave us our first plants as a Christmas present. We followed all the gardening rules...digging the trench, adding tons of compost, mulching, diligently keeping it weed-free. We heeded garden lore not harvest for the first two years, resisted the (considerable) temptation to gobble up the first spears that poked above ground and waited. And waited. And W A I T E D. It was excruciating.
Then that fine spring day arrived...three years in the making.
Could anything shout SPRING more than asparagus and rose wine? Not to me! Most times, I simply cook asparagus briefly in a shallow pan of water and serve with salt and a grating of fresh parmesan. And butter. Simple and always delicious.
Other times, for a party or as a demonstration at the local farmers market, I'll make beer-battered asparagus. I made them for my mother's retirement party. A bit hit! Great finger food always translates into a great time, in my experience.
Our farmers market website is a repository of a crazy amount of asparagus recipes if you are stuck in a rut and want to try something new:
We just had Easter dinner here with Mark's family and I was inordinately happy to be able to go out to the garden to cut and cook a big plate of asparagus. I look forward to many, many more years of enjoying this rite of spring!