Eat Seasonally in March: Asparagus Recipes

Each month, we feature a seasonal ingredient. Learn how to select and prepare asparagus, and enjoy it in delicious asparagus recipes from soup to salad.

We rely on a few key indicators to tell us spring is on the way: daffodils emerging from the ground, Easter candy on display at the grocery, and bright green asparagus in the produce section.

Now that asparagus is in season, it’s the perfect time to experiment with some new asparagus recipes. Learn how to select, store and prep it. Then blend it into soup, incorporate it in salad, or roast it under the broiler. Asparagus recipes make springtime delicious.

How to Select, Store and Prep Asparagus

You’ll usually find asparagus on display standing upright, in a refrigerated area of the produce section. The ends may also be submerged in water. This keeps it as fresh as possible, since asparagus starts to lose flavor as soon as it’s picked.

Asparagus Recipes: Asparagus is often displayed standing upright, in a refrigerated area of the produce section. The ends may also be submerged in water. This keeps it as fresh as possible, since asparagus starts to lose flavor as soon as it's picked.

Look for asparagus that has tightly closed tips, tinged purple. The stalks should be firm and green, and the ends shouldn’t be dry or woody. Thin spears cook more quickly and can be more tender than thick ones, but thick spears are more flavorful with a meatier texture.

If you aren’t going to cook and eat the asparagus the day you buy it, store it upright at home too. Chop a bit off the ends (1/2-1″ will do), pour an inch of water into the bottom of a glass, and place the asparagus stalks in the glass. Cover the stalks and glass with a plastic bag.

This video from CHOW shows exactly what to do:

Finally, when it’s time to start cooking, rinse the tips and stalks. Take a few spears in one hand and snap off the ends with your other hand. Fresh asparagus stalks naturally break at the right point, so you get all the tenderness and none of the woodiness. We prefer this method over cutting off all the ends at once with a knife.

Asparagus Recipes: From Soup to Salad

You don’t need to do too much to asparagus to make it perfectly delicious. Rinse it, snap off the ends, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pop it under the broiler.

But if you feel like getting more adventurous, we suggest checking out these asparagus recipes. Now’s the right time to discover new ways to enjoy this spring vegetable.

Cream of Asparagus Soup With Parmesan and Garlic

Soup season isn’t over yet, no matter how warm your weather might be getting. Seize this brief window to make cream of asparagus soup using fresh asparagus.

This recipe from Cook the Story brings together asparagus, parmesan and garlic, along with broth and heavy cream, for a thick, rich soup. Save the tip of each asparagus spear and chop them roughly for a garnish. Then take it up a notch and serve this soup in bread bowls.

Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

While this recipe is a classic, it’s worth reading Chowhound’s tips to help it turn out perfectly. They cover everything from how to choose asparagus specifically for this appetizer, to how to wrap the prosciutto and correct rack placement for the baking sheet.

If you’re planning a gathering this spring, we recommend whipping up a batch of these asparagus appetizers. Your guests will be impressed.

Balsamic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

What we especially love about this recipe from Jo Cooks is how versatile it is. Serve it as an appetizer, a salad or a side dish. It’s so simple to make, and the balsamic vinegar reduces while the asparagus and tomatoes are roasting.

Make this dish a last-minute addition to any meal when you find asparagus on special at the market.

Asparagus and Feta Quinoa Salad

This salad from Real Housemoms has some flavor elements you might not expect. The quinoa is cooked in broth, which gives it more depth. The feta cheese and chopped dried apricots keep the balance between salty and sweet.

While you could serve this salad as a side dish, we think it would also make a delicious vegetarian lunch all on its own.

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