It’s Asparagus Time!

It’s Asparagus time!

Freshly cooked asparagus spears

Willowy asparagus spears become hard to resist on a daily basis, from the end of April, right through the month of June. Thin spears of green asparagus, called sprue, have been grown as a delicacy for over 2000 years!

Wash asparagus spears carefully, especially around the tips, which can contain dirt and grit. Then bend each stem until it snaps—it will break at the part where it becomes woody and tough.  Personally, I like thicker spears—using a peeler, I shave down the stem from the middle to the broken end and simply steam in a shallow pan with barely enough water to cover along with a sprinkling of salt.  Asparagus takes about 3 minutes to steam—just until crisp-tender.

I included one recipe this time around—and chances are you have every ingredient to prepare it—use any type of cracker you wish and any type of mushroom will do.  This recipe is great if you are pressed for time.  It can be made in advance and popped into the oven when needed. Enjoy this lovely casserole: Scalloped Asparagus

Click to Download: BLOG 2017-Spring-Scalloped Asparagus

Signature Offering by Annette O. Corona – All Rights Reserved

Scalloped Asparagus
Makes about 4-6 servings

Pulled from my “retro” files, this casserole is a synch to make and I am willing to bet you already have all the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator to make it.  Feel free to use any type of crackers you have on hand, and while I usually use white button mushrooms, feel free to get creative and use another like sliced cremini or even oyster mushrooms torn into small pieces.  Pimento-stuffed olives are delicious added to it if you happen to have a jar around (remember to reduce the amount of salt, though).

*Unsweetened almond or coconut milk can be substituted for the cow’s milk, and use vegan butter or margarine, and then you will have a vegan dish.

1½-pounds fresh asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
6 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced
2½-tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1½-cups milk
½-teaspoon sea salt
24 wheat crackers, crumbled

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.; oil an 11-inch x 11-inch casserole dish.
  2. Break or cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces and layer with the mushrooms in the casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in the flour to make a roux; cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, then add the milk and salt and simmer about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  4. Pour the sauce over top of the vegetables, top with the crumbled crackers and dot with the remaining butter; bake about 30 minutes until the crumbs are nicely browned; let the casserole rest about 5 minutes before serving. Any leftovers can be reheated gently.  Enjoy!

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