In southwestern Pennsylvania, asparagus is picked in April, May, and June. It can be found at many local farmers’ markets. Asparagus is a stalk vegetable. It grows straight out of the ground. The bottom of the stalk is woody like a tree. Asparagus tops have a cluster of small leaves. Asparagus is one of the fastest growing vegetables. It can grow seven inches in just one day!
- Asparagus is a good source of fiber. Fiber helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and supports digestive health.
- The bottom of the stalk can be woody. The spears bend at the spot where the woody part meets the more tender part. It is easy to remove the woody end. To remove, bend the spear and it will snap in two pieces. Save the top of the spear for eating.
- Asparagus can be stored for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
- To store, trim the ends. Place spears in a jar that has a little water in the bottom. Wrap the tops in a damp paper towel.
Asparagus can be enjoyed raw, steamed, roasted, or grilled. Try cooking with other spring vegetables like peas, mushrooms, and lettuces. Some say that asparagus tastes like spring. Enjoy spring vegetables with this easy Spring Vegetable Pasta.
Spring Vegetable Pasta
2 cups dry pasta
2 teaspoons oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian herbs
1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and sliced thinly
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen peas, thawed slightly
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta by following the directions on the package.
- While the pasta cooks, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add garlic and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add vegetables and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook vegetables for 5-7 minutes, until they are bright in color.
- When it is done cooking, drain pasta. Add pasta to the pan. Add lemon juice. Stir pasta and vegetables. Season with pepper and parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings