Asparagus is available at the Grove Farmers' Market this Saturday, July 29.
The vegetable has been around since the Egyptians used it in about 3,000 B.C, if not before, and it is packed with vitamin K, copper and dietary fiber. Here are a few recipes to try.
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 egg yolks
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 C. hot melted butter
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and green onions; cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Strain through a mesh strainer, and press out excess water. Place into the bowl of a blender and puree until smooth, then pour into a bowl and set aside.
Rinse out the blender bowl, then add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and Tabasco sauce. Cover, leaving the hole in the lid open, and blend for about 5 seconds. Continue to blend at high speed while pouring the butter in a thin stream though the hole in the lid. Turn the blender off once all the butter has been added and the sauce has thickened. Pour into the asparagus puree and fold until evenly blended. Serve immediately.
20 thin slices sandwich bread, crusts removed
3/4 lb. butter
4 oz. blue cheese, at room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
20 fresh asparagus spears
Trim crusts from bread, and flatten slightly with a rolling pin.
In a bowl, stir blue and cream cheeses together with the egg until well blended and creamy. Spread a thin layer of cheese mixture over each slice of bread. Roll one asparagus spear inside each, and fasten with a toothpick.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Roll each asparagus wrap in butter to coat. Place on a baking sheet small enough to fit into the freezer, and freeze for one hour, or until butter hardens and wraps are somewhat firm. Remove pan from freezer, discard toothpicks, and cut each wrap in half crosswise. Store in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer until ready to use.
To serve, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Arrange frozen asparagus wraps on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Check occasionally, and turn if necessary, for even browning and to prevent burning. Enjoy!
Asparagus and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and black pepper to taste
8 asparagus spears, trimmed, divided
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.
Place each chicken breast between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly lb. the chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
Place 4 spears of asparagus down the center of a chicken breast, and spread about 1/4 C. of mozzarella cheese over the asparagus. Repeat with the other chicken breast, and roll the chicken around the asparagus and cheese to make a tidy, compact roll. Place the rolls seam sides down in the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle each with about 2 T. of bread crumbs.
Bake in the preheated oven until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork, about 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
5 wide lasagna noodles
2 T. margarine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 (15 oz.) can asparagus, drained
1 C. julienned fully cooked ham
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and cut noodles in half crosswise.
Melt margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic just until fragrant. Stir in the flour until no lumps remain. Gradually mix in milk, and season with thyme. Simmer sauce gently until thick. Remove from heat.
Grease a 9x9 inch glass baking dish. Layer noodles, sauce, asparagus, ham, and mozzarella cheese in three layers, each starting with noodles, and ending with shredded cheese on the top.
Cover the dish, and cook in the microwave on HIGH for 9 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Time may vary depending on the oven used. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
2 (8 oz.) packages whipped cream cheese
1 (11 oz.) can condensed cheese soup
2 (4 oz.) cans shrimp, drained
3 (15 oz.) cans asparagus, drained
1 (6 oz.) can French-fried onions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and cheddar cheese soup until there are no lumps. Fold in the shrimp.
Arrange the asparagus in a 9x13 inch casserole dish. They should be arranged so that the head to tail end of the asparagus are alternated. Pour the cheese and shrimp mixture over the asparagus. Use a spatula to spread the soup around evenly. Be careful not to tear asparagus. Make sure there is at least 1/2 an inch of space between the top of the ingredients and the top of casserole dish because the casserole will boil while cooking.
Bake covered in a preheated 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, uncover and crush fried onions on top of casserole and cook for the remaining 10 minutes uncovered.
1 onion, chopped
2 T. butter
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 C. vegetable broth
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash white pepper
1 C. 1 percent milk
Microwave onion and butter on HIGH for 2 minutes. Add asparagus, vegetable broth, garlic powder and white pepper. Microwave, covered, on HIGH for 10 to 12 minutes. Puree in blender.
Return mixture to microwave safe dish, stir in milk and microwave until heated through.
24 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 C. salsa
1 T. chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic 4 green onions, sliced
Place the asparagus in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
Place the asparagus, salsa, cilantro, garlic, and green onions in a food processor or blender, and process to desired consistency. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until chilled, before serving.
The Grove Farmers' Market is operated by members of the Grove Area Merchants Association. For more information, or to participate, persons interested may call 918-786-6600 or visit www.facebook.com/grovefarmersmarket