Among the first fruits of man’s agricultural activity, perhaps not everyone knows that the cultivation of asparagus is old as civilization.
Historians tell that the cultivation of this delicious green vegetable originated even in Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, then spreading to ancient Egypt and Asia Minor over 2000 years ago, and subsequently throughout the Mediterranean basin.
The Romans had known it since 200 BC, citing it in their manuals and minutely exposing its cultivation. At that time, the asparagus from the Ferrara and Bologna area were already considered a delicacy, so much so that they were sent to Rome wrapped in a special paper to keep them fresh (And from here begins the custom of wrapping asparagus in paper tissues to maintain its freshness longer).
An authentic green jewel of the earth, asparagus has innumerable properties that allow it to naturally counteract skin aging, water retention and cellulite, eliminate toxins and strengthen the immune system.
The best-known property is that of stimulating diuresis, which combine with purifying and draining properties and which help the body to dispose of excess liquids and toxins. Among the most important substances that they possess stands out asparagine, an amino acid useful for the synthesis of proteins and their metabolism, and inulin, a carbohydrate capable of optimizing the absorption of nutrients.
For all these reasons, Asparagus should not be missing from our table in the period from April to June, at least once or twice a week.
But, just now that we start to find them on the benches of our trusted greengrocer, what are the tastiest recipes to prepare this delicious fruit of the earth? Here are some tips
Please Note: a correct preparation of the asparagus, careful not to disperse the minerals, plans to cook them in a little water, even better if steamed.
RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS
The risotto with asparagus is a classic of Italian cuisine that represents real praise to spring. With a delicate flavor and a soft consistency, it is a simple and refined first course as per the tradition of national cuisine.
• 500 g of asparagus
• 350 g of Carnaroli rice
• 70 g of butter
• 1/2 onion
• hot vegetable broth
• grated Grana Padano cheese
• extra virgin olive oil
Recipe type: easy
Cooking: 30-35 minutes
Steam the asparagus with a pinch of salt for about ten minutes, then cut the tips that you will put in a pan with butter (or oil of your choice) for 5 minutes. Then cut the rest of the asparagus into rings and set aside.
In a saucepan melt 30 grams of butter (or oil of your choice) with chopped onion, then add the rice and let it toast for a few minutes, turning it occasionally, then add the asparagus slices.
(Here some advice to cook Rice in the Italian way)
Stir with a wooden spoon, then add the broth brought to a boil. Cook the risotto adding occasionally a few ladles of broth. When the rice is cooked, adjust the salt, add the tips previously stirred with butter and grated cheese.
Leave to rest for a few minutes and then serve at the table.
– Do not throw the boiling water of the asparagus, but add the broth to the rice for a more intense flavor.
– Cut the tips before boiling the asparagus; tender and delicate, the boiled asparagus tips may become too soft, unraveling in rice.
– Blend a part of asparagus: for a more creamy consistency than the risotto.
– Use the right cheese, preferably long-aged Parmesan cheese.
TAGLIATELLE WITH ASPARAGUS
An easy recipe in which the soft taste of fresh asparagus goes perfectly with egg pasta, making this Italian recipe appreciated and sure to be successful both for a family lunch and for a dinner with friends.
• 320 g of fresh egg tagliatelle
• 700 g of asparagus
• 60 g of butter
• 40 g of parmesan cheese
• 1 white onion
Type of recipes: easy
Cooking: 20 minutes
Clean the asparagus, removing the fibrous part of the stem and separating the tips, then cut them into small pieces and boil them for about 10 minutes in a saucepan. After the first 5 minutes add the tips so that they remain crunchy.
In a non-stick pan, sauté the chopped onion with about 40 grams of butter (or extra virgin olive oil), then add the boiled asparagus and let them a flavor for 5 minutes. Cook the noodles, drain them ‘al dente’ and season them in the pan with the asparagus, the remaining butter, and the grated cheese.
A true classic of Italian cuisine, the omelet with asparagus is a real tribute to an extraordinary crunchy and healthy seasonal vegetable.
• 6 eggs
• 1 leek
• 50 g of grated Parmesan cheese
• 300 g of thin asparagus
• 150 g diced provolone
• extra virgin olive oil
• fresh basil
Recipe Type: Easy
Cooking: 25 minutes
Cut the leek into slices and let it dry in a non-stick pan with a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil, once dried, add the asparagus cut into chunks and sauté until they become tender (but still crispy). In the meantime, beat the eggs in a bowl with a whisk, adding a spoonful of oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and chopped basil.
With a spatula, spread the vegetables on the bottom of the pan in a homogeneous layer, remove them from the heat and add the egg mixture and the cheese cubes.
Then cook 2-3 minutes on high heat, then lower the heat, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the edges of the omelet become golden.
At this point, turn the omelet with the help of a lid and brown for a few minutes on this side too, then transfer the omelet onto a serving dish and serve at the table.
A simple recipe that keeps all the taste of asparagus unchanged. A tasty Italian side dish to accompany spring dishes.
• 1 kg of large asparagus
• 60 g of grated Parmesan
• 1 egg white
Recipe Type: Easy
Cooking: 40 minutes
Clean the asparagus by cutting the woody part of the stem and steam boil them for 12 minutes. Also, boil the asparagus waste in a little salted water for about 20 minutes.
Filter the liquid and put it in a small pan, put on the fire and let it reduce to two spoons. In this warm base add the cold butter and emulsify with a small whisk.
Then brush the asparagus with the beaten egg white and roll them in the grated Parmesan flavored with freshly ground pepper. Align them in a pan, cover them and let them heat over medium heat for a few minutes. Find out, sprinkle the asparagus with the butter emulsion and continue cooking for a few minutes.
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