Thursday, March 17, 2011

A is for Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

For the simplest of spring sides, trim the ends off of your asparagus and toss on the grill. You may wish to coat with lemon, sea salt, or balsamic vinegar. Grilled asparagus make a nice complement to seared scallops or a white fish. For presentation points, wrap your green bundle in a carrot curl (peeled from a large organic carrot).
Asparagus and Carrot Slaw

Grate 3 large, loose carrots and 1 pound of asparagus. Toss with 1/3 cup fresh mint, 1/3 cup chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. This makes a great spring side.
Lemon Asparagus Quinoa

1 pound asparagus (cut off tips and cut into two-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup quinoa
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil (roll the leaves, then slice)
1 medium lemon

In a steamer basket, cook asparagus for about ten minutes, or until the steam has turned it bright green and tender. Rinse, then cook, your quinoa according to the directions. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, toss in red onion and pine nuts. This will create a wonderfully aromatic base. Add in your cooked quinoa and asparagus. Toss to coat, then add salt, lemon juice, and basil. Plate and serve. This makes a nice main course, or an easy side for grilled chicken.

The last two recipes were adapted from Martha Stewart Living. For a slew of spring sides, visit Whole Foods Market.

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