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Stalks of Spring




Cat Campbell/For The Madera Tribune

Celebrate Spring with a hearty pasta dish featuring smoked salmon and fresh asparagus.

 

This time of year, we see an abundance of many veggies that we associate with the Spring season. Asparagus is one great example, even though we can manage to find it in stores during most of the year.


I must admit that while I have a lot of recipes in which asparagus is an ingredient, I am more of a purist when it comes to my favorite way to prepare it. I wash it, snap off any tough ends and place the stalks in a steamer or a shallow skillet that has a lid. Put in enough water for steaming, and when they are tender, lift the stalks (or rather, spears) and place them, well drained, on a serving platter. I serve them as is, with a dollop of mayonnaise on the side. I even like to eat them cold.


One thing I do not like, and this is just a personal preference, is the trend toward those spindly, skinny grass-like bundles of asparagus. I much prefer the thicker ones, even though I’m sure the flavor is the same. I also do not take a vegetable peeler and shave off the little leaves, or bracts, that grow all around the stalk. My mother-in-law used to do that, but I never understood the point of the practice. I just leave them on, no pun intended.

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