A to Z: Asparagus with a Zing Recipe


A-photo-of-Chuck-MalloryWhen I was a child in northern Missouri, our primary garden vegetables were tomatoes, corn, and green beans. My parents said those were the main garden vegetables when they were kids, too. So even though we had delicious homegrown and (though we didn’t know it) organic vegetables, I never actually ate asparagus until I was in college. And it was love at first sight.

Imagine a few years later when a friend who grew up in rural Kansas said they often found wild asparagus by the side of the road and picked it for that night’s dinner. That would be like finding gold, I thought. I think it might have also grown wild in northern Missouri, and I just didn’t know what it was.

The first time I ate asparagus, the family who served it said they always steamed it and served it lathered with mayo. Later I discovered it’s good just about any way. Maybe that’s why it appears in the oldest collection of recipes known to exist, the De re coquinaria, Book 3, by Apicius in the third century.

Asparagus is even a magical word. Spell it backwards and you get a food ingredient I like and a type of music I don’t like.

Not able to leave a good thing alone, I decided to experiment with asparagus. And here’s a great, simple recipe that brings out the best of this early-summer vegetable while making it fit for a king.


4/3/2013 2:18:14 PM

We like fresh spears mixed in our nightly salad, cover with favorite dressing. We use the slow cooker a lot and when meal is about 30 min form being served lay spears on tol of contents. Good with beef and chicken. We steam it to go with fish. Good any way. Our Schnauzer loves to pick her own from the garden.

Cindy Murphy
6/27/2010 7:55:47 PM

Hi, Chuck. I love, love, love asparagus. Horseradish, I'm not too fond of. I usually get a zing on my asparagus from balsamic vinegar and lemon, but your recipe sounds so good, I might have to give the horseradish another chance. Cindy ~ A Lakeside View

6/25/2010 9:47:33 AM

Sounds deeeee-lish!! I have some spears on the menu for dinner tonight... I plan on grilling mine -- hope they turn out as good as yours look!

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