Springtime…the flowers are in bloom, the warmer air surrounds us, and the produce section is flooded with asparagus! Asparagus is both delicious and healthy, and right now it’s at its prime. Look for stalks that are neither too thick or too thin, and have tight, firm heads. The ends should not be dried out (you’ll often see them sold standing in a shallow pan of water to keep ends moist and fresh).
One of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus is to roast it. Simply snap off the fibrous ends (hold each spear in your hands and bend—it will break precisely where the tender stalk meets the tougher end). Place the spears in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and give it a good sprinkle of coarse salt (I like sea salt or kosher salt). I think they are just perfect without any adornment, but you could also add some zip with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of lemon zest, or even tossed with some grated Parmesan cheese. Pop into a preheated oven (350 degrees) for about 12 minutes and you have a super-simple side dish that your kids can eat with their hands! And yes, it is actually perfectly proper to eat asparagus spears with your fingers! Keep in mind that you can also do these on your outdoor grill for a delicious no-mess dish! I like to put them on top of a piece of heavy-duty tin foil to avoid any spears falling through the grates, but if you lay them the opposite direction of the grate and are careful, it is perfectly fine to roast them directly on the grill. Now THAT is one yummy veggie!
Together with your kids, take the “Veggie Pledge” at www.veggiepledge.org.