9 Surprising (and Delicious) Ways to Use Asparagus
Although some may eat asparagus year-round, we're champions of seasonality and believe that the bright green stalks are best consumed when they can be found locally in the spring. Head to your farmers' market this weekend and you’re bound to come across stands selling the most beloved of spring vegetables—the aforementioned asparagus—in all shapes, colors, and sizes.
Once you’ve scooped up some prized stalks, you’re challenged with a far more difficult task: figuring out what to make. While it’s absolutely scrumptious drizzled with olive oil, roasted at high heat, and seasoned with a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon, asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of interesting ways. To encourage you to try a new take on an old standby, here are nine inventive dishes for a more thrilling culinary experience.
Although you may think it’s weird at first, you must try raw asparagus. When it’s thinly shaved and tossed with a little bit of oil and salt, it’s snappy, light, and perfect for piling on top of crisp crostini slathered with goat cheese. Be sure to buy the fattest asparagus you can find for this recipe—it's much easier to shave than the thinner stalks.
Need a simple and light dinner that’s impressive enough to serve guests? Look no further than this lemon-garlic salmon with asparagus. The secret is an herb-infused oil that’s used to season both the asparagus and salmon. Serve with a fresh pea and burrata appetizer and raspberry custard cake for dessert, and you’ve got a perfect Easter Sunday supper.
One of our favorite ways to prepare asparagus is as a tart. Roll out a little puff pastry, spread on some crème fraîche, then top with asparagus and parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown, and voilá: asparagus tart! In the words of the wise Ina Garten, how easy is that?
Little gem salads are about as ubiquitous as beets and goat cheese, but this recipe caught our eye because it’s a refreshing take on an overdone dish. Shaved asparagus, sliced radishes, and broccoli sprouts sit like a nest on top of the little gem lettuce. Toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds add crunch, while herbed goat cheese provides tang. The finishing item that takes it to the next level: homemade Green Goddess dressing.
Everyone has probably had asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, pancetta, or bacon as an appetizer, but how many people can say they’ve had crescent-wrapped asparagus with boursin? We're guessing not too many! Boursin is a soft creamy cheese that is to France what Velveeta is to America: a guilty-pleasure cheese. Try it now in this genius recipe.
While the days can be warm, in spring, the evenings are often cool. This sort of weather calls for a satisfying and soulful soup. In this recipe, roasted asparagus is turned into a fragrant broth that’s used as the base for a Greek-inspired soup. Think avgolemono with a spring makeover.
Who doesn’t love a good breakfast pizza? The recipe combines the classic Spanish flavors of serrano ham and manchego cheese with storebought whole-wheat pizza dough, earthy asparagus, and rich, oozing egg yolks.
Pasta primavera doesn’t have to be a carb and calorie bomb. Case in point: this light and healthful orecchiette pasta dish that’s packed with fresh asparagus and snap peas and coated in an unfussy oil and mascarpone sauce. Chef's tip: Don’t pour out the pasta cooking liquid! Instead, use it to thicken the sauce.
Only a handful of ingredients are needed to put together this finger-licking-good winner of a chicken dinner—asparagus, lemon, chicken, honey, and butter. That’s right, the glossy-looking glaze is an effortless mixture of butter and honey that’s cooked in the same pan as the chicken, asparagus, and lemon, ensuring that all of the components are coated in sweet, buttery goodness.
Shop the culinary tools you’ll need to make these recipes below.
What is your favorite way to prepare asparagus at home?