May is National Asparagus Month – Bonus Recipe Included
Spring is the best time to find fresh, local fruits and vegetables found in Virginia. In-season vegetables, like asparagus, are one of many delicious options to choose from this May!
Three Colors of Asparagus:
- Asparagus, a member of the lily family, is commonly known for its green appearance. However, it also comes in purple and white.
- Purple asparagus has a nuttier and sweeter flavor, rather than the grassier flavor of its green sibling. This is due to it having about 20% more sugar in its stalks. When cooked, the purple color dulls, turning it green.
- White asparagus is sort of a delicacy and is grown without sunlight to stop chlorophyll from developing and turning it green. The flavor tends to be more bitter of the three.
Asparagus is naturally low in sodium and calories, cholesterol-free, and loaded with antioxidants. It’s high in vitamins A and C and is a great source of vitamin K, folate, iron, and potassium.
From Store to Table:
When buying asparagus, make sure the spears are firm and fresh-looking and the tips are tightly closed. For the best flavor, asparagus should be eaten within a few days. Store asparagus in the refrigerator after you first cut off an inch from the stalk and stand the spears upright in an inch or two of water, covered with a plastic bag.
You can grill, steam, or broil asparagus, and you’ll love it roasted! Try the recipe below.
Roasted Lemon Pepper Asparagus
Adapted from foodandnutrition.org
Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Dash black pepper
- 2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 pounds trimmed asparagus
- Preheat the oven to 425°F
- In a small bowl, combine the oil with lemon juice, thyme, pepper, and garlic
- Place asparagus in a baking dish and toss with herb mixture
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender