Asparagus--ah, asparagus! One of my favorite vegetables, and we got it the first week! Thank you, Myerov Farm, THANK YOU!
This is such a delicious food. I have even resorted to popping them into the microwave to heat them up quickly. Asparagus is elegant--it complements fish and poultry extremely well. Many people ruin it, in my opinion, by drowning it in Hollandaise sauce. There is nothing wrong with Hollandaise sauce, I just prefer my asparagus fairly plain.
Tonight, we put the asparagus on a baking sheet (on parchment paper-love parchment paper!) drizzled it with good olive oil, some freshly ground salt and pepper then baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. The salt and pepper melded into the olive oil and the asparagus retained a nice crunch with a wonderful salty, peppery, olive oil flavor. Asparagus turns just a gorgeous, vibrant, deep green when it is cooked. And the color-green is my favorite color, ok?
Susan was a good sport about trying the asparagus. I think she preferred (I hesitate to use the term "liked") the stalks. I prefer the stalks as well, and have found that I especially prefer the thicker asparagus. Maybe because it's a bit more "forgiving" in the cooking process because it is thicker, I'm not sure, but I am certain that I prefer the nice fat ones!
And how about this: asparagus has only about 4 calories per stalk! Obviously, this does NOT include the olive oil, but olive oil is a very healthy fat as well as a great source of flavor. It's also a good source of vitamin C and potassium. More nutritional information may be found via the website of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board.