Posts Tagged ‘asparagus


Spring Asparagus Stir Fry

This is the first weekend in two months that isn’t dominated by something pressing.  Our hardwood floors are now refinished. The furniture is moved back in, the books finally back on bookshelves, and the china in the china cabinet. Our nine-hour drive to visit my grandmother in central Kansas is over. We’ve spent a few days with my parents on the other side of the state. And then Jeff’s folks came. Not to mention, work has been INSANE juggling end-of-school-year stories and breaking news in urban education.

On Saturday, Gabi and I went to the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market and stocked up on asparagus.  Every spring Jeff and I crave green veggies so much that we nearly overdose on asparagus. We’re headed in that direction once again. Last weekend, I made stir-fried asparagus with oyster sauce for Jeff’s parents, and it was as delish as ever. Last night, I revisited this incredible asparagus stir fry I’d found on Heidi Swanson’s foodblog,, and first tried three weeks ago. If you haven’t been to her site, it’s wonderful. So is her new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. More on that later this week.

This stir fry has a little of everything as far as flavor goes. The asparagus and tofu dominate. Then you have heat from the ginger and crushed red pepper flakes, sweetness from the hoison sauce, tang from the lime zest and juice. Cashews provide texture, and mint and basil round it out. Hoison, by the way, is a thick sweet sauce widely used in Chinese cooking.

There are many things I love about Heidi Swanson’s recipes. The first is that they always make me feel good. The second is that you can easily mix and match ingredients without being too worried about it.

At the market, I bought a few handfuls of this tatsoi, with the intention of using it instead of chard or spinach. Tatsoi is a mild Asian green. It looks like a cross between bok choy and spinach, and works really well in stir fries.

Continue reading ‘Spring Asparagus Stir Fry’


Linguini with Shrimp, Asparagus and Basil

When books and magazines start taking over our coffee table, Jeff always looks at me. I know the look. Half of the clutter is my cook books and food magazines. The funny thing about that is I don’t even subscribe to any food magazines. I just hold onto my old ones and rediscover them every now and then.

I started leafing through one of my old Bon Appetits the other day. In May 2007, a photographer snapped a pic of this dish in front of the Sydney Opera House and made it the cover photo. I’ve made it for family and friends about a half dozen times since the issue came out. I made it again last night. We already had some asparagus, lemon and several pots of basil growing outside on the deck. Basil is what makes this dish.  The only wild card is the hot pepper. Red jalapenos, I’ve found, can vary in their degrees of heat. Maybe it has to do with shelf life, who knows. This time I used fresno chiles instead, with good results. If you can’t find a red chile, settle for green. The taste will be the same. The visual is all that will be lacking.

Continue reading ‘Linguini with Shrimp, Asparagus and Basil’


Stir-Fried Asparagus with Oyster Sauce

Gabriella and I were at the store today and came across thick asparagus. I used to only buy the slender spears, but the thick ones, when cooked right, have more flavor. They’re excellent in stir fries, for example.

With this in mind, I snatched some up. A recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks — Gourmet Today — had been calling me.

Continue reading ‘Stir-Fried Asparagus with Oyster Sauce’


Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan Dressing

Yesterday in the CSA box was — hooray! — a bulging bag of beautiful asparagus. My attempt to grow spears in my backyard failed last summer, so I’m relying again on the box and the farmers markets to fill me with springtime. Last night Jeff and I tossed asparagus with goat cheese, lemon peel and pasta. It reminded me why I love cooking seasonally. It was divine. The grown-for-shipping varieties at the grocery store just don’t compare.

Continue reading ‘Shaved Asparagus with Parmesan Dressing’


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