Asparagus is an aristocratic vegetable that has been around since Plato first put on his toga. In addition to a delicious part of a meal, asparagus has been used for its medicinal purposes including relief of a toothache and infection. A member of the lily family, aparagus is especially plentiful in the spring, making it part of the traditional Easter AND Passover dinner. Now with advanced growing techniques and worldwide transport of food, aparagus is available year round.
Asparagus Health Profile
Despite its elitist aura, asparagus is a nutritional workhorse. It is rich in numerous vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and folacin. In fact, just 4 oz of asparagus has more than 60% of the RDA for vitamin C– important to know since vitamin C is the nutrient most closely linked to smoother, firmer skin. A big serving ( 8 plump spears) clocks in at just 20 calories.
Aparagus is terribly versatile and can be steamed, stir-fried, boiled, roasted and zapped in a microwave. Once cooked, asparagus can be topped with lemon ( juice or zest), chopped eggs, breads brinbs or grated cheese. Cold asparagus can be doused with vinergrette or tossed into a salad.
I’m always looking for vegetarian entress and one of my favorites asparagus recipes is when its stir fried, tosed into pasta and topped with goat cheese. I call it–
Wrinkle Buster Pasta ( adapted from 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking)
Ingredients: 4 oz pasta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/2 lb aparagus cut into 1/2 inch pices; 2 tablespoons goat cheese; 1/2 cup parmasan cheese
Directions: Boil pasta in salted water until done. Drain pasta, saving 1/2 cup of pasta water. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan and saute onion until softened. Add asparagus pieces and stir fry for 5 minutes or until done. Stir pasta into saute pan and toss with leftover pasta water. Crumble in goat cheese, stir and top with parmasan cheese.