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Monday, March 16, 2009

Asparagus!

Asparagus is one of nature's true food heroes as a source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. It's also high in fiber and potassium but low in calories which makes ideal if your trying to eat healthy and lose weight.

So how do you choose asparagus? - You want to look for bunches with firm stalks and tightly closed tips. Then store the brunch in the refrigerator with the stem ends wrapped in most paper towels and they will keep for several days. Prior to cooking you will need to trim the woody stem ends - the easiest way to to snap them off as they will naturally break at the right place.

Steaming Asparagus
In a large saucepan, skillet, bring ½ inch of water to a boil
Add a single layer of asparagus
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender

Asparagus takes about 2-5 minutes to cook, depending on size and freshness.
*As soon as it turns bright green, it's ready.

Roasted Asparagus Serves 6 to 8
2 thin bunches asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread out asparagus spears in a large shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shake roasting pan gently so asparagus is completely coated in oil.
Roast in oven until spears are just tender. Cooking time will depend on thickness of asparagus, about 10 minutes for medium-thick asparagus. Pencil asparagus will take much less time; thick stalks will take more. Shake pan halfway through cooking time to keep spears from sticking. Just before serving, drizzle asparagus with olive oil and adjust seasoning
**The tips of roasted asparagus should be just crisp and the stalks golden brown and tender.

Try these great Asparagus Recipes:

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