Cooking asparagus adds a little bit of spring’s bounty to your table

By / Food / November 14th, 2016 / 18

Spring brings many wonderful things to the table, chief among them asparagus. Following are two ways to continue enjoying spring’s delicious bounty.

roasted asparagus with parmigiano-reggiano

Serves 6 as a side dish

Thicker asparagus roasts quite well, although you can use slender by cutting back on the cooking time. To trim off the woody part of the asparagus stalk, bend each spear until it breaks. It will snap off right at the point where the stalk begins to toughen.

2 bunches asparagus

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 tsp minced fresh thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Coarse-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

On a baking sheet, combine the asparagus, oil, cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. Spread the asparagus in a single layer.

Roast about 15 minutes or until asparagus is tender and somewhat browned.  Transfer to serving platter. Toss with lemon juice. Garnish with cheese.

risotto with asparagus

A chef taught me to stir in a few tablespoons of warmed heavy cream to make risotto dreamier and creamier.

4 cups chicken broth

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, minced

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1 cup Arborio rice

10 slender asparagus spears cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tbsp heavy cream, warmed

Grated Asiago cheese, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer.

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and thyme. Sauté over medium-low heat until onion is softened. Add rice; cook, stirring to coat, 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup broth; cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Add the asparagus and 1/2 cup of broth, stirring, until liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until broth is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. It should take about 25 to 30 minutes for the rice to become tender.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in heavy cream. Garnish with Asiago cheese.


Quench Food Editor, Nancy Johnson, minced, sliced, chopped, sautéed and sipped her way through George Brown College’s culinary program with a focus on food writing and wine. Nancy cooks by the code her Italian grandmother taught her: For the best results, always use the freshest, best ingredients. She writes for Ohio-based Wine Buzz Magazine and recently published a short story in Woman’s World Magazine. She is always on a diet.

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