Stalking Spring

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April and May are prime months for stalking – asparagus, that is. Nothing says spring like those robust green stalks that, in my opinion, make any meal a special one.

There's little doubt that asparagus is a special vegetable – just look at the price tag. There is a reason for the higher cost. Asparagus requires hand picking. When picking your own at the grocery store, look for firm straight spears with closed compact tips.

Be careful not to overcook asparagus. Check for doneness after three to five minutes. If not serving right away, stop cooking by rinsing it under cold water, then refrigerate.

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Today's recipes are guaranteed to bring the fresh taste of spring to the dinner table. The recipes are: Asparagus Stir Fry, Asparagus Green Onion Frittata, Asparagus Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Sesame Asparagus, Asparagus with Shallots.


2 T. oil, 12 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast halves sliced diagonally, 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, 2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated, 1 lb. asparagus, sliced, 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced, 1 bunch green onions sliced, 1 lime, cut in wedges, 1/2 tsp. salt

In nonstick 12-in. skillet heat 1 T. oil. Add chicken, garlic and 1-1/2 tsp. ginger and cook 2 to 3 minutes until chicken loses its pink color throughout, stirring constantly. Transfer chicken to bowl. To same skillet, add asparagus, salt, pepper, remaining 1 T. oil, and 2 T. water and cook 3 minutes or until tender crisp, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet; add green onions and remaining ginger and cook 1 minute. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.


8 lg. eggs, 1/2 c. whole milk, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, 3/4 tsp. salt, 12 oz. asparagus, trimmed, 1 T. margarine, 1 bunch green onion, sliced, 2 oz. light cream cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl with wire whisk or fork, mix eggs, milk, pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt until blended; set aside. If using thin asparagus, cut stalks into 1-inch pieces. In nonstick 10-in. skillet with oven safe handle melt margarine over medium heat. Add asparagus and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and cook 4 minutes for thin stalks or 6 minutes for medium stalks, stirring often. Stir in green onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet; drop scant teaspoons full of cream cheese on top of egg mixture. Cook 3 to 4 minutes without stirring until egg mixture begins to set around edge. Place skillet in oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until frittata is set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into wedges. Serves 4.


1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and sliced diagonally, 1 orange, 2 T. rice vinegar, 1 T. olive oil, 1 T. minced shallot, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, 2 heads endive, cut in strips

In skillet heat 1/2 inch water to boiling over high heat. Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain asparagus in colander, rinse with cold water and pat dry. From orange, grate 1/2 tsp. peel and squeeze 1 T. juice. In small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, shallot, sugar, salt, mustard, pepper, orange juice, and orange peel until blended. To serve, toss asparagus and endive in large bowl with dressing until evenly coated. Serves 4.


1 T. sesame seeds, 1 T. olive oil, 1-1/2 lb. asparagus, sliced, 1 lg. garlic clove, minced, 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil, 2 tsp. soy sauce

In nonstick skillet cook sesame seeds over medium high heat until fragrant and golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. To same skillet add olive oil and heat until hot. Add asparagus, garlic, and soy sauce, and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until asparagus is tender crisp. Toss with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. Serves 4.


2 lb. asparagus, trimmed, 1 T. margarine, 2 sm. Shallots, chopped, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper

In 12-in. skillet heat 1 inch water to boiling over high heat. Add asparagus; heat to boiling and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain asparagus; rinse under cold running water to stop cooking and drain again. Just before serving in same skillet melt margarine. Add shallots, salt, pepper, and cook 2 minutes longer or until heated through, shaking skillet to evenly coat asparagus. Serves 8.