By Eliza Short, Communications Coordinator for Jackson In Action
With summer just around the corner, we can start to appreciate activities such as gardening, hiking, biking, and spending longer days in the sun. One activity that many people enjoy is grilling out with friends and family. Instead of simply grilling meat this year, try a spring vegetable such as asparagus or beets!
During the month of May, the Jackson In Action Community Coalition is highlighting asparagus in the harvest of the month initiative. Asparagus can serve as a low calorie snack or addition to a meal, and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Join Black River Memorial Hospital Registered Dietitian Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RDN, CD for a Harvest of the Month recipe and taste-test on Tues. May 17, from 11:30am-12:30pm. Below find information on how to select, store, and eat asparagus, along with a tasty recipe!
How to Select:
- Look for asparagus that appears firm and fresh.
- Thicker spears are better for grilling, while thin spears are good for quick pan frying or steaming but can easily become overcooked.
- Most people prepare asparagus by bending it until it breaks in two, which causes a lot of waste that could have been used. Instead, trim off about ¼-1 inch from the bottom (or none if it is especially fresh) and if it still feels woody, peel the bottom portion with a vegetable peeler.
- Avoid spears that have started to shrivel at the base or that have tips with the flowers starting to spread, which is an age indicator.
How to Store and Eat:
- Uncooked asparagus can last for up to one week in the fridge, but be sure to use it up before it gets flimsy
- Roast asparagus in the oven or pan fry with olive oil for an easy side dish at dinner. Leftovers can be used the next day in a fresh salad.
Featured Recipe: Roasted Parmesan Garlic Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus, washed and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- Juice of 1 lemon, or more, to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. Place asparagus in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine.
- Place into oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but crisp.
- Serve immediately, tossed with garlic, lemon juice and Parmesan.
References: www.nutrition-and-you.com, gourmettrading.net, www.oregonlive.com