Valley Bounty: Asparagus

Few things seem to be clearer signs of spring in the Pioneer Valley than the sudden ubiquity of asparagus at farm stands, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and even in our ice cream. Long a staple of Easter tables (in our house it was steamed, wrapped in ham and hollandaise, and tucked somewhere next to the deviled eggs), asparagus plants can produce spears for fifteen to twenty years, especially in fertile Pioneer Valley soil. These days, I like to keep my asparagus away from the steamer, opting instead to throw it on the grill or under the broiler with some sea salt, black pepper, and a bit of olive oil. Besides an excellent side dish or appetizer (maybe drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar), grilled asparagus makes a great addition to frittatas, quiches, and omelets, or to risotto with chopped bacon and a squeeze of lemon.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell