People tend to have their go-to way to prepare vegetables, and for our good friend asparagus, that’s usually steaming. Not to bash a timeless cooking technique, but I haven’t steamed anything (willingly) in my own kitchen in quite some time… maybe it’s just bad memories of frozen microwaved steamed corn as a child that forever has me against it (sorry, mom).
So, today, I’m here to tell you that not only can you prepare this delicious & nutritious vegetable a multitude of ways, but you can plop these stalks on pretty much anything!! Asparagus adds a host of nutrients and a rooty, yet sweet taste that compliments citrus-y and savory dishes to a spectacular degree - give it a try, any of these 8 ways and you’ll be wishing you had thought of them sooner!
1 - grill - okay, maybe a no-brainer…but pile some in a nice foil pack or right on an indoor grill pan with some seasoning & olive oil and you’ve got yourself a perfect side!
two - PICKLED - quite possibly my favorite. do I just love vinegared vegetables? yes, but it makes the perfect salad topper or wrap-add in and I just can’t get enough
I.I.I. - pesto’d - not only did I just make “pesto” a verb, but I probably offended a lot of Italian cooks…yes, you can add it to this classic sauce which allows you to sneak in more veggies + use slightly less basil if you’re not a fan or don’t have a ton on-hand
4 - on a pizza - I’m on a roll with the alliterative P-usage trend, so I’m going to keep that up for at least one more turn. PUT IT ON A PIZZA. More specifically, put it on a pizza with prosciutto, figs, carmelized onions and mozzarella and your life will never be the same again
five - for dipping (!!) - we just celebrated #SuperbowlSunday and I’m sure you have some extra dipping sauces around — eat it raw with a little flavor from a dip or hummus and you’ve got a fantastic snack
IV - stir frys AND falafel — you’re getting a 2-fer here, kids. Asparagus goes well in both Asian and Mediterranean dishes — fold into your favorite stir fry sauce and pair with brown rice or quinoa or blend up with chickpeas and edamame for a fun patty to use in wraps, sandwiches, or over a bowl! (recipe below!)
7 - salads - somewhat surprising this took me all the way until #7 to get to, but sky’s the limit here — chopped salad, shaved salad, panzanella salad, even in a tabbouleh salad! you get the picture, raw or cooked, I’m a fan of these on a bed of greens any way you chop it
eight - eggs!! - frittata dishes and asparagus go together like…nothing else I can think of, but they fold super tastefully into your morning egg dish, add flavor and garnish to poached eggs on toast, and can also be featured in egg salad …not to be confused with the above designation, I’m talking hard boiled eggs + all the mix-ins (inspired by Serious Eats, combine 1 lb asparagus, 6 hard-cooked eggs (chopped), 1/3 cup mayonnaise (could also use cottage cheese or greek yogurt), tsp dijon mustard and salt & pepper to taste!)
Enough with making up weird verbiage and phrases, here’s a falafel dish that pretty much resembles the kitchen sink and tastes like heaven, no exaggeration whatsoever:
Fresh Asparagus Falafel (serves 4, 3 falafel per serving)
8 oz fresh asparagus spears, trimmed + cut into small pieces
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen edamame, shelled and thawed
1 medium zucchini
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp EBTB (everything but the bagel) seasoning
In a food processor or blender, combine the cut asparagus, chickpeas, edamame, zucchini, flour, 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, and 1 tbsp seasoning. Cover and process until finely chopped — mixture should form together, but not completely mashed.
Shape above mixture into ~12 patties. Gently roll or coat outer edges with remaining EBTB seasoning. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and add half the patties - cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side then repeat with remaining. If using an air fryer, gently spray pan with cooking spray and fry for about 7-10 minutes until cooked through (flipping sides halfway thru).