Yesterday was fun, a productive day. Son Jason brought 2 of his boys over to help with spring chores. The guys got the chimney and gutters cleaned, and paver brick walls reset. Me? Well, I got the tiller going and tilled the big garden. So satisfying!
The asparagus bed needed a bit of tilling and dressing, too. It won’t be long before asparagus pops up – I can imagine how those pretty green stalks are eager to burst through soil, blessing us with an abundance of this super healthy vegetable.
With Easter just a few days away, and spring having just sprung, my thought is that it’s a good day to share, you guessed it, asparagus recipes.
Sensational sides for an Easter or spring meal. Try these recipes, then let me know what you think.
A stunner that belies how easy it is to make.
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen (see tip)
8 oz. Gruyere, Emmentaler, Swiss or Fontina cheese, shredded
1 nice bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed (keep for soup)
Seasoned salt and pepper or salt and pepper
Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400.
Sprinkle a bit of flour on counter, then unroll pastry. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top – not too much.
Roll into 16×10 rectangle.
Place on parchment lined baking pan.
Lightly score pastry with sharp knife 1” in from edges. This marks the rectangle and will allow edges to puff up.
Poke center with fork all over to prevent big air bubbles.
Bake just until golden, about 12-15 minutes.
Fill evenly with cheese.
Trim asparagus to fit crosswise into shell in single layer.
Alternate ends and tips. That way everybody gets both.
Drizzle with oil.
Sprinkle with seasoning.
Bake until asparagus is tender but not mushy and pastry is nice golden brown, 12 to 20 minutes.
Garnish with Romano, cut into squares.
Adapted from Elizabeth K., a Mason reader’s recipe.
Tip: Use gentle hand with puff pastry
Thaw frozen pastry, wrapped, in refrigerator overnight, or counter, wrapped, about 30 minutes.
Careful when unrolling. Pastry tends to stick to itself.
Simple roasted asparagus with lemon pepper and herbs
Asparagus, tough ends trimmed (keep for soup)
Herbs of choice
Cheese of choice (opt)
Preheat oven to 425.
Lay asparagus on sprayed baking sheet in single layer.
Brush with oil.
Sprinkle with lemon pepper
Bake until crisp tender and bright green. Time depends upon thickness but check after 7 minutes or so.
Sprinkle with herbs and cheese and serve.
Not a fan of roasting? Blanch it!
Cook asparagus in salted boiling water just until bright green and crisp tender. Check from 2 minutes on depending upon thickness.
Immediately plunge spears into ice water to stop cooking, drain well and dress with seasonings.
Dublin coddle a hit!
So many fun comments, including editor Stephen Wilder’s. He used Polish sausage and left potatoes unpeeled. “ We were in a hurry. How necessary is that in most cases?” It depends on thickness of the skin and recipe itself. Usually thin skinned potatoes like red, Yukon, etc. are OK left unpeeled.