When asparagus starts pushing its way up through the ground, spring has definitely arrived. Depending on the weather, asparagus reaches its peak sweetness and tenderness between late April and early May. When choosing asparagus, look for smooth, purple-hued spears with tight heads. My best advice is to pass on supermarket asparagus and shop your local farmers market. You will be amazed at the difference.
One of my favorite dishes to cook— and which is largely overlooked— is asparagus puree. I highlight the soup, which can be served either warm or cold, with whipped crème fraiche and chanterelle powder. Grilled asparagus served with lemon oil and tarragon aioli is oh-so-simple but incredibly delicious and perfect with warm crusty bread. Easily made at home, the egg yolk ravioli and steamed asparagus is a three- or four-star dish that will dazzle your family or guests. Finally, who would have thought white asparagus paired with Pinot Noir risotto and truffle oil could look so elegant and be so easy to make?
- Steamed Asparagus with Egg Yolk Ravioli, Parmesan, and Lemon Oil
- Asparagus Puree with Whipped Crème Fraîche and Chanterelle Powder
- White Asparagus with Pinot Noir Risotto, Truffle Oil, and Fresh Thyme
- Grilled Asparagus with Tarragon Aioli
Andrew Evans is the chef at Easton’s The BBQ Joint.