They're here! The asparagus have finally arrived. Having an asparagus bed in the garden is like money in the bank, the dividends come each spring like clock work.
Asparagus is a perennial, and that means it is planted once and will produce for 15 years or more. If you have a garden and don't have an asparagus bed, spring is a good time to do it. Growing asparagus is easy but only for the patient. Plant the roots this spring but no harvesting until next year and even then only very lightly. On the third year and every year thereafter they're yours for the pickin', forgive the pun. Here's more info on how to plant an asparagus bed.
We love asparagus in every which way--roasted, grilled, steamed, in stir fry and pasta dishes. An old family favorite is Stir-Fried Beef with Vegetables--asparagus, green beans, broccoli, whatever is in season and available, but for us this week asparagus has center stage.
Beef with Asparagus
1/2 lb flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
oil for frying
4 scallions, cut in 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 lb asparagus cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths
2 TBS oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 TBS water
Marinate meat with cornstarch, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and garlic for 10 minutes.
Heat wok or large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons oil and heat. Toss in scallions and cook 30 seconds. Add meat and stir-fry over high hear for a minute until browned on the outside and pink in the middle. Remove from pan. Heat 2 more tablespoons oil in the same pan, add asparagus, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and stir-fry over high heat for a minute or two until asparagus is tender but still al dente. Add a bit of water if the pan is too dry. Return meat and scallions to pan, add oyster sauce and soy sauce. Add cornstarch-water mixture and give a quick stir until thickened. Serve over jasmine rice or short grain brown rice. This is a seasonal delight that will wean you from Chinese take-out forever. Serves 4.
Links to easy asparagus recipes:
Wok-Seared Chicken with Asparagus & Pistachios
Do you have a favorite asparagus recipes? Do share them below in the comment section.