A week ago the ice left the lakes; today some of the first luscious food has left the soil. I suppose there is a certain element of ‘catch-up,’ as the spring has been late in coming and so many things need yet, to happen. The season becomes compressed; one day clear earth, the next a succulent forest of thumb sized asparagus shoots. Finally! We have indeed had the first new winter onions from the garden, but asparagus is definitely in the ’real food’ category.
Now we have a new element to plan our meals around. The first ceremonial stalks will be simply steamed with some butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Soon, as the harvest continues, the asparagus will be sautéed, and of course some asparagus in cheese sauce is always in order.
Asparagus is not just for dinner. It also makes the breakfast list. Asparagus omelets are certainly in order. Another of my favorite asparagus breakfast dishes is asparagus Frittatas. Simply whip eggs and milk, add salt and pepper and shredded cheddar cheese. Chop up asparagus, along with onions and bell peppers. Stir it up and spoon it into an oiled muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes at 350°. Pop them out of the muffin tin and enjoy!
As a side note; I planted my asparagus quite deeply several years ago when I established the patch. The tops of the crowns are 4 to 5 inches below the surface of the soil. This does delay cutting a bit, but enables me to till lightly over the bed in early spring to clean up weeds before the cutting season. I like to enjoy asparagus during its season but choose not to freeze or can it. Freshly cut, after a long winter, it is truly heavenly.