Eating Seasonally: Asparagus

How to cook asparagus


Eating locally and in-season is good for our health. We know this, and yet we don’t do it as often as we should. Not only does the food simply taste better, it is actually better for our wallets, too. How so? Well, for starters when you buy in season you buy food that is at the peak of its supply, so it costs less to distribution outlets and farmers to harvest and get into your local grocery store. The opposite – eating foods that are out of season – is more expensive by virtue they are shipped from around the globe to get to you, usually picked before their peak so they’re flavour survives the long trip to the store. What you’re paying for is the time, the distance and the number of people involved in the whole enterprise. Money aside, there’s also a convenience to it: Because the food is so fresh, you don’t have to ‘doctor’ it or slather it with ingredients to make it taste appetizing.

Lately, and because of the time of year, I’m a bit obsessed with asparagus. They are spectacularly delicious and take little amounts of time, which is to say very little time at all! Simply put, start by rinsing the greens – a quick wash for the asparagus will do. Snap the ends of the asparagus with your hands: they will give way at the natural breaking point, and boil each until tender. (Typically asparagus takes around 8 minutes.) Test out their tenderness with a fork, and they should still feel firm, not squishy. Remove from the water and add to a pan with a generous tablespoon of good quality olive oil and let them sauté with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If I’m feeling particularly fancy (or entertaining), I’ll grate parmesan cheese over top and add a spritz of lemon for that fresh citrus flavor.

It’s very clean, very simple eating and really, why should we ever mess with a good thing?

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