Asparagus on a board.

Earlier this week I spoke with my friend Margaret Roach, the master gardener behind A Way to Garden, all about asparagus — how to grow it, how to store it, and, of course, how to cook it!

I’ve rounded up some of the recipes we discuss below, including this raw asparagus salad, this simple roasted asparagus from the Canal House ladies, and Margaret’s delicious sounding Easy Asparagus-Parmesan Bake, which she describes as “a fast concoction that’s not quite a quiche nor a frittata, but does involve a nice fresh egg or two.”

Listen to our conversation over on A Way to Garden and learn how to make your own asparagus bed, how to dig the appropriate trench, and how to fill it with dormant asparagus crowns. Margaret makes it sound easy, and I’m tempted to order a few bundles of purple passion and to get planting! Subscribe to all of Margaret’s future podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify or Stitcher.

Over on A Way to Garden, you can also enter to win a copy of my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs, and if you leave a comment below, you can enter to win a copy of Margaret’s essential gardening book, A Way to Garden. 🎉🎉🎉 Details below.

Finally, I also recently had the chance to chat with Margaret’s sister, Marion Roach Smith, a memoir-writing coach and podcast host, all about food writing. Read it or listen to it at this link.

PS: Margaret Roach’s Garden is Magical


This post is organized as follows:

The Cover of Margaret Roach's A Way to Garden

How to Select Asparagus

When selecting asparagus at the market, look for firm, bright- and even-colored (no dark spots or yellowing) stalks with smooth skins and compact heads. Avoid spears with desiccated bottoms or shriveling bodies, which indicates moisture loss and age. Budding stalks are a sign the stems will be woody. 

Asparagus in glass jars with a little bit of water.

How to Store Asparagus

First, if your asparagus are wrapped in rubber bands…

A variety of spring produce: asparagus, rhubarb, Swiss chard, scallions, lettuce, and spinach.

… snip them away. Then…

Snipped asparagus rubber bands.

… transfer them to glass jars with a little bit of water in the bottom. If you have space in your fridge, you can store them there. Margaret’s smart suggestion is to store the asparagus in the door of the fridge, which is a little more stable than the open shelves of the fridge. If your kitchen is cool, you can store the asparagus at room temperature.

Asparagus in jars.

20 + Asparagus Recipes to Make Right Now

  1. Raw Asparagus Salad
A raw asparagus salad on a platter.

2. Asparagus Risotto

3. Asparagus Pasta Carbonara

orecchiette carbonara

4. Spring Wheat Berry Salad

A bowl of spring wheat berry salad.

5. Simple Roasted Asparagus

6. Asparagus and Arugula Salad

Raw asparagus salad.

7. Asparagus Pizza with Whipped Ricotta & Salami. Here are my two favorite pizza dough recipes: Simple Sourdough Pizza Crust and Homemade Pizza Dough (Tons of Tips 🎉). You can watch a video here or follow these instructions:

  1. Place a Baking Steel or stone in the upper third of your oven. Heat at 550ºF for 45-60 minutes⁣.
  2. Whip ricotta in a food processor. Season with salt. Spread over pizza dough. Sprinkle parmesan over top.⁣
  3. Top cheese layer with salami.⁣
  4. Shave asparagus with a peeler. Season with olive oil and sea salt. Spread the asparagus layer over the salami.⁣
  5. Drizzle with more olive. Season with sea salt.⁣
  6. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Cut and serve.
Asparagus pizza.

8. Fennel + Asparagus Salad

A bowl of shaved fennel salad.

9. Vegetable Chow Mein-ish

This vegetable chow mein is much more than a tasty-enough weeknight meal—it is a tangle of saucy noodles and vegetables, and it’s fast becoming a family favorite. It works as well with spaghetti as with soba noodles, with asparagus as with broccoli, with or without protein. Moreover, the adaptations are endless // alexandracooks.com

10. Fish en Papillote

A sizzle pan with an opened fish en papillote.

11. Asparagus & Endive Salad (recipe below).

Asparagus and endive salad.

12. Roasted Asparagus and Spring Onion Croque Monseiur

A bubbling, bechamel-and-roasted vegetable open-faced sandwich, this asparagus croque monsieur is daydream worthy. While you won't miss the meat on this spring vegetable tartine, one topped with smoked Niman Ranch ham would be heavenly. // alexandracooks.com

13. Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic and Parmesan

Roasted asparagus with balsamic and parmesan on a plate.

14. Asparagus-Parmesan Bake via Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden

Asparagus parmesan bake.
Photo by Margaret Roach

15. Asparagus Latkes via Food52

PHOTO BY JULIA GARTLAND. PROP STYLIST: VERONICA OLSON. FOOD STYLIST: ANNA BILLINGSKOG.

16. Cheesy Asparagus Tart via What’s Gaby Cooking

Asparagus Tart
Photo via What’s Gaby Cooking

17. Roasted Asparagus with Pecan Parmesan (Vegan)via Walder Wellness

Photo via Walder Wellness

18. Cream of Asparagus Soup via Epicurious

Cream of asparagus soup.
PHOTO BY CHELSEA KYLE, PROP STYLING BY NATHANIEL JAMES, FOOD STYLING BY SIMON ANDREWS

19. Grilled Asparagus with Tahini Lemon Sauce via The Lemon Bowl

Grilled asparagus on a platter.
Photo via The Lemon Bowl

20. Tagliatelle with Asparagus & Peas via Love & Lemons

Tagliatelle with asparagus.
Photo via Love & Lemons

The Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Margaret’s A Way to Garden, leave a comment below. Tell me your favorite asparagus recipe or your favorite spring recipe. Good luck!

The Cover of Margaret Roach's A Way to Garden
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Asparagus and endive salad.

20 Asparagus Recipes: Asparagus & Endive Salad


  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

About this time of year every year, I crave this salad, a combination of asparagus and endive dressed with a simple vinaigrette and lots of chopped chives. I learned to make it years ago while working in Philadelphia from a French-trained chef who would toss the asparagus spears and endive slivers in his version of sauce gribiche, a combination of olive oil, lemon, capers, cornichons, shallots, hard-boiled egg, and a handful of herbs.

Here, the dressing has been simplified, but the preparation is the same: asparagus spears are blanched in boiling water for no more than 2 minutes and shocked in an ice bath to stop the cooking and to preserve their bright green hue. Once cool and dry, the spears are dressed with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, capers, and lots of chives, but any number of herbs would be nice, tarragon in particular.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 2 heads endive
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers, or more to taste
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. When it comes to a boil, drop the asparagus into the water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus and drop them in the ice bath.
  2. Meanwhile, halve the endive heads lengthwise, then cut each half into thin slices. Transfer endive slices to a large bowl. Drain asparagus and pat dry. Add to salad bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Add capers and chives to bowl. Use your hands to gently toss everything together. Taste. Season with more salt, pepper, capers, etc. Transfer salad to serving platter.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, French

Keywords: asparagus, endive, salad