Spring vegetable recipes: Three sauces for steamed or roasted asparagus

Fresh AsparagusAlthough vegetables have their own fabulous goodness on their own, when you tire of the same ‘ole thing, a simple┬ásauce goes a long way to renewed or increased deliciousness.

My favorite spring vegetable is asparagus, a perennial plant related to garlic and onions and native to Asia, Europe and North Africa. It’s super high in fiber and nutrients like vitamins B1 and 2, C, E, K as well as folate, copper and manganese. Enjoy with abandon.

Tips For Care:
1) Choose thinner stalks when you have the option — they are less woody and have a more delicate flavor.
2) Asparagus is highly perishable, so cook within two days of purchasing. As soon as you get home from the grocery store (or after picking, if you have the patience to grow this slow-growing vegetable), wrap the ends in a paper towel until ready to cook.

The Sauces!
Test out these four sauces you can drizzle on or toss with steamed, grilled or roasted asparagus. All are based on one pound of trimmed asparagus. How to roast asparagus; how to grill asparagus; how to steam asparagus.

Asparagus with Briny Green Olive Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup green olives, pitted (you can also experiment with black olives, especially if you’re grilling)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
One pound steamed, roasted or grilled asparagus, trimmed and cut to desired size

Directions

1. Place all ingredients except asparagus in a food processor. Pulse several times or until mixture looks crumbly and combined.
2. Serve on top of asparagus. Serve immediately.

Asparagus Tossed with Fresh Tomatoes and Shallot

Ingredients

Two small tomatoes, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and peppers to taste
One pound steamed, roasted or grilled asparagus, trimmed and cut to desired size

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients but asparagus.
2. Toss asparagus with sauce. Serve immediately.

Roasted asparagus

Roasting asparagus

Ingredients

1/3 cup shallots, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoons capers, chopped
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
One pound steamed, roasted or grilled asparagus, trimmed and cut to desired size

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients but asparagus.
2. Toss asparagus with sauce. Serve immediately.

Asparagus with Garlic and Fresh Thyme

Ingredients

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried (fresh tastes best)
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
One pound steamed, roasted or grilled asparagus, trimmed and cut to desired size

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients but asparagus.
2. Toss asparagus with sauce. Serve immediately.

Have a favorite asparagus recipe to share? Tell me about it in the comments!

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