These Are Martha's Favorite Asparagus Recipes for Spring
When I started the vegetable garden in Westport, Connecticut, at Turkey Hill, the first things I planted were berries, rhubarb, and asparagus. Each of these perennial garden favorites takes two to three years to mature and produce, so it was imperative to plant them right away. Produce they did, and I was convinced that every garden, large or small, should make room for these wonderful plants.
Today, my asparagus garden in Bedford is quite large and very productive. Four long rows start sprouting green and purple stalks in April, and continue through most of May.
Steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted—asparagus can be used in so many ways. If I forget to pick them for a few days and they sprout up too tall, I use the top eight inches and tips as my vegetable, and the long stalks for a soup. I try never to waste any of this precious vegetable, which is low in calories and very rich in vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K (important for strong bones) and folate (for DNA and red-blood-cell development). Sarah Carey, our editorial director of food, and I spent a day cooking up recipes for this column, and these were our favorites to share. Each is simple and flavorful. Keep in mind that the asparagus should be impeccably fresh and the spears approximately the same size, and that they should be cooked just enough that the entire stalk is of the same tenderness. Please do not overcook them! When serving spears whole, cut them all to the same length. If the stems are more than 5/8 inch thick, pare off two to three inches of the bottom skin with a vegetable peeler. The asparagus will be as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat.
Asparagus with Blender Hollandaise
Martha says she sometimes "just eats a giant mound of the fat green spears with Hollandaise for dinner." This is her recipe for Asparagus and Blender Hollandaise, an easy take on the classic sauce.
Creamy Asparagus Soup
This flavorful puréed Creamy Asparagus Soup has a vegetable-stock base and gets its subtle sweetness from leeks and shallot. Martha swirls a dollop of crème fraîche into each bowl right before serving.
Pasta Alfredo with Lemon and Asparagus
Rich and delicious, Martha says this Pasta Alfredo with Lemon and Asparagus makes a wonderful first course or it can be served in larger portions for a decadent entrée.
Makeup by Daisy Toye