Veggie Side Dishes - Asparagus

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Deep Fried Asparagus

5 to 6 inch stalks of fresh asparagus
vegetable batter
flour

Wet asparagus stalks with water and coat with flour, dip into a tempura/vegetable mix batter. Deep fry until golden brown.Serve with ranch dressing dip.

Asparagus Supreme

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated carrot, optional
1 tablespoon grated onion
salt and pepper

topping:
3/4 cup herb seasoned stuffing mix
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Wash fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces and cook in boiling water until tender. Drain. Blend together soup and flour. Add sour cream, carrot, onion, salt and pepper. Stir in asparagus. Turn into a 2 quart casserole. Combine stuffing mix and butter sprinkle around edge of baking dish. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Pickled Asparagus

Asparagus spears or pieces
4 cups boiling water
5 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons pickling salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 cups cider vinegar
1 clove garlic per jar
6 tablespoons mixed pickling spices

Combine boiling water, sugar, salt, pepper. Stir to dissolve. Add vinegar and pickling spice and then chill. Wash asparagus. Break at tender part of stalk and trim spears to slightly less than 1 inch of height of jars you are using or cut into 1/2 inch slices. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes. Immerse in ice water and chill thoroughly. Pat dry and pack into jars. Add garlic clove and cover with cold pickling solution to within 1 inch of top of jar to cover spears. Process in boiling water bath 15 minutes for both pints or quarts. Start processing when water returns to boil. Let sit for a few weeks or more to develop the best flavor. Serve as a pickle or as swizzle sticks in your favourite tomato juice cocktail.

Asparagus Stir Fry

1 pound asparagus, ends removed, cut in 1 inch diagonal slices
1/2 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
1/4 pound sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons mashed black beans
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in small amount of cold water
1 teaspoon sesame oil prior to serving or toasted sesame seeds

Heat oil in wok or fry pan. Add asparagus and stir fry about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and onions and stir fry about one more minute. Add black beans, garlic, soy sauce, and small amount of chicken broth. Cover. Simmer about 4 minutes or until asparagus is tender crisp. Add sufficient cornstarch paste for desired consistency and heat to thicken. Add sesame oil or sesame seeds if desired. Serves 3 to 4.

Asparagus Strata

1 can asparagus, pieces or spears
4 American cheese slices
8 thin bread slices
4 eggs
4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place 4 slices of bread, with crusts removed, into greased 8 inch by 8 inch by 2 inch pan. Put slice of cheese on each piece of bread, then place asparagus evenly on top of cheese. Top each with another slice of bread. Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper and mustard and pour over bread. Let refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle top with additional grated cheese and bake at 350F degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until custard is set, knife comes out clean when inserted. Yield: 4 servings.

Sauteed Asparagus with Morels and Thyme

Kosher salt
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ounces fresh morels, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Black pepper to taste

Bring an inch or two of water in a skillet to a boil with a teaspoon of salt. Have a large bowl of ice water standing by in the sink. Add the asparagus to the boiling the water and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until barely tender but still quite firm. With a skimmer or tongs, remove the spears to the ice water. When the asparagus spears have cooled, drain and set aside until you're ready to finish the dish an hour to several hours later. Refrigerate if more than an hour. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat until butter stops foaming. Add morels, asparagus, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the morels are wilted and the asparagus just heated through, about 3 or 4 minutes. Serves 4.

Roasted Asparagus with Rosemary Oil

1 pound asparagus
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Trim asparagus by holding spears, one at a time, with one hand about halfway up the stalk, bottoms up. Then grasp the bottom of the stalk with the other hand and bend until it breaks. It will break where the bottom begins to toughen. Wash spears and set aside. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Snap rosemary sprigs in half. Put in a micowaveable dish with oil and cook on half power for a minute. Then put oil, rosemary and asparagus in a cast iron or other ovenproof skillet. Rub or brush asparagus thoroughly with oil. Let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature. Put skillet in the oven and cook 10 minutes, shaking a few times to coat spears with oil and cook evenly. Drain from oil and serve. Serves 3 or 4.

Asparagus Puff Ring

3/4 cup water
6 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Filling:
1 pound asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 cups diced cooked ham

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time , beating well after each; beat until smooth. Stir in 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Using 1/4 cupfuls of dough, form a ring around the sides of a greased 10 inch quiche pan or pie plate, mounds should touch. Top with the remaining Parmesan. Bake at 400F. for 35 minutes.

Filling: Cook asparagus until tender crisp, 3 to 4 minutes; drain. In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, stir in cheeses until melted. Stir in ham and asparagus and heat through. Spoon into baked puff ring. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Asparagus Mornay

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup half and half cream
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons crushed butter flavoured crackers

In a skillet cook asparagus in a small amount of water until crisp tender, about 6 to 8 minutes; drain. Arrange spears in the bottom of a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish; set aside and keep warm. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour, cook and stir for one minute. Whisk in the cream, bouillon, nutmeg and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for two minutes.. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Pour over asparagus. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. 4 to 6 servings.

Asparagus Casserole

1 to 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 19 ounce can bean sprouts drained well
3 to 4 green onions chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated sharp cheese
1 cup chopped almonds, or 1 can french fried onion rings, or chow mein noodles

Cut asparagus into one inch pieces and cook until tender; drain. In a large greased casserole layer asparagus, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, mushroom soup and grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Sprinkle on preferred topping and bake 5 minutes longer. This casserole may be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
Serves 8.

Asparagus, Apple and Chicken Salad

1 cup fresh asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced red apple
2 cups torn mixed greens
alfalfa sprouts, optional

Cook asparagus in a small amount of water until tender crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes; drain and cool. In a bowl, combine the next six ingredients. Stir in the chicken, apple and asparagus; toss. Serve over greens. Garnish with alfalfa sprouts if desired.

Asparagus With Cashews

1 1/2 pounds asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Cut off the tough lower stems of the asparagus and discard. Cut each stalk diagonally into 3 or 4 pieces. Heat the oils together in a wok over high heat. Add the ginger and stir fry for one minute. Add the asparagus and stir fry until tender but still crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews and soy sauce. Serve immediately.

Asparagus With Blue Cheese

1 pound asparagus, cleaned, tough ends trimmed
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chives, minced
4 tablespoons Blue cheese, crumbled
white pepper, freshly ground

Snap ends off asparagus spears. Fill medium skillet with 1 inch water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus in single layer and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and arrange on a serving plate. Stir together vinegar and oil in small bowl. Add blue cheese and chives and mix well. Pour over hot asparagus. Season to taste with plenty of white pepper. Set aside until tepid, then serve.

Asparagus With Ginger Orange Butter

1 Navel orange
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed

Grate 2 teaspoons orange zest, colored part of peel; place in small bowl. Squeeze juice. To orange zest, add butter, l tablespoon orange juice, cilantro, ginger and l/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. With portable mixer, beat to blend. Place on plastic wrap; roll up to form 3 inch log, twisting ends. Freeze 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. After butter mixture has set, cook asparagus: Peel bottom third of asparagus spears with vegetable peeler. In large, deep skillet, combine 2 cups water, remaining orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the asparagus; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, 4 minutes or until tender. Drain; place on platter Remove butter from freezer; unwrap. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds; place on hot asparagus. Makes 6 servings.

Asparagus Salad With Raspberry Vinegrette

2 pounds fresh asparagus, washed well, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch x 1 inch pieces
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 teaspoon parsley

Steam the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Drain. Put asparagus, red pepper and onion into a plastic bowl, with cover. Blend vinegar, water, sugar (honey) and parsley in a separate bowl and then pour over vegetables. Adjust seasonings if desired. Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Stir every so often. Serve cold as a side salad.

Asparagus Fritti Al Prosciutto

16 fat asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, beaten
Flour, for dredging
16 small slices prosciutto
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Cook asparagus in boiling salted water until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, spray with cold water, and pat dry. Lay asparagus out on a platter. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over asparagus spears. Put beaten eggs on one plate and flour for dredging on another. Heat remaining butter and oil in a skillet. Wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of prosciutto. Roll them in flour, brush off excess, dip in egg, and saute them until golden, about 2 minutes to a side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. NOTE: If there are no fat asparagus, use twice as many skinny ones; cook a few minutes less and roll 2 spears in each slice of prosciutto.

Asparagus With Lemon Grass and Shallot Vinaigrette

1 1/2 pounds asparagus stalks
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt
pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoon lemon grass, minced

Peel the asparagus if necessary and cook the stalks in lightly salted water for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness, or until fork tender but still firm. Drain under cold water and set the stalks aside in serving dish. Combine the remaining ingredients and whisk them vigorously. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar or salt and pepper if needed. Pour the dressing over the asparagus and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Asparagus Frittata

3/4 pound fresh asparagus spears
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
6 eggs
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 small tomato, cut in wedges

Cook fresh asparagus spears in a small amount of boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or till crisp tender; drain. Reserve 3 spears for garnish; cut remaining asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl beat eggs till foamy. Beat in cottage cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper; set aside. Spray a 10 inch ovenproof skillet with Pam. Cook mushrooms over medium heat till just tender. Stir in asparagus pieces. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms and asparagus. Cook mixture over low heat about 5 minutes or till mixture bubbles slightly and begins to set around edges. Bake frittata, uncovered, in a 400F oven about 10 minutes or till set. Garnish each serving with tomato.

Fresh Asparagus Baked in Wine Sauce

1 pound fresh, cooked asparagus
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Put cooked asparagus in shallow buttered baking dish. To melted butter, add white wine, salt, pepper; pour over asparagus and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 425F degrees for 15 minutes.

Asparagus Polonaise

2 pounds fresh Asparagus
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large hard cooked egg, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Melt butter in sauce pan. Add bread crumbs and sauté to a light brown. Cook asparagus in 1 cup boiling water until tender. Drain. Sprinkle bread crumbs over asparagus, top with remaining ingredients. Makes 4 Servings.

Asparagus Fiesta Potatoes

8 large baking potatoes
1/2 cup diced red sweet pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
3 1/4 cups cut asparagus
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn
sour cream
1/2 cup diced onion

Bake potatoes at 350F for one hour or until done, or in microwave oven on high for 15 minutes. Prepare ground beef with taco seasoning according to package directions. Add 1/4 cup water to asparagus, corn, onion and sweet pepper; cover. Microwave four minutes on high in microwave safe dish, or steam on top of stove in a saucepan for 4 to 6 minutes. Add drained asparagus, corn, onion and sweet pepper to meat mixture. Cook until asparagus is tender. Cut open baked potatoes. Top with asparagus/meat mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Warm potatoes in oven or microwave to melt cheese, if desired.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

1 1/4 pounds fresh asparagus
1 cup small shell pasta
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 cup Italian Dressing

Trim, wash and cut fresh asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Steam about 5 minutes or until just crisp tender. Quickly cool in ice water and drain. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain and cool. Combine all ingredients. Place in airtight container. Chill thoroughly or overnight before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

Asparagus Citrus Saute

1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3/4 pound fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 1/2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 head Boston lettuce, separated into leaves
Garnish: zest of 1 orange and 4 orange wedges

Combine orange juice, wine, salt and pepper; set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium heat. Sauté pecans until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel. Add remaining butter to pan. Sauté asparagus over medium heat 2 minutes. Add orange juice/wine mixture to pan. Cover and steam 3 to 4 minutes, until asparagus is crisp tender. Add peas and cook until tender. Stir in mushrooms and heat through. Arrange lettuce on four plates. Divide asparagus, peas, mushrooms and sauce from pan among lettuce. Top with orange zest and pecans. Squeeze juice from orange wedges over salad before serving. Yield: 4 Servings.

Swiss Asparagus Log

1 1 pound loaf French bread, unsliced
1 11 ounce can cheese soup
1/4 cup milk
1 6 ounce can crab meat, drained
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 15 ounce can asparagus spears, drained
4 ounces Swiss cheese

Slice approximately 1 inch off the top of the French bread. Make a 1 inch slit in the bread lengthwise. Combine cheese soup and milk. Press liquid out of crab meat. Add crab meat and dill to cheese soup. Place bread on a piece of foil. Spoon cheese mixture on top of bread. Place asparagus spears diagonally across cheese mixture. Top with slices of Swiss cheese. Pull foil up on slices of bread, forming a basket. Do not cover top of bread. Bake at 320 F 8 to 10 minutes or until Swiss cheese melts. Remove from oven. Slice using a serrated knife.

Asparagus Ham Bundles

1 sheet puff pastry, about 12 inches x 12 inches
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, cooked
thinly sliced ham

Cut puff pastry into strips about 1 inch wide. Place 2 to 3 asparagus spears on ham slice; roll up as for jelly roll. Spiral puff pastry around ham roll. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400F about 15 to 20 minutes until pastry is puffed and browned. Serve at once.

Asparagus Morsels

1 1 pound loaf white sandwich bread
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces bleu cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
16 to 18 asparagus spears, cooked
1/2 cup butter, melted

Trim crusts from bread and roll bread slices as flat as possible.Mix together cheeses, mayonnaise, and egg until smooth. Spread on bread slices. Place one asparagus spear on each slice and roll up. Cut into thirds and dip in melted butter. Bake at 350F until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Makes 48 to 54 morsels.

Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 pound thin asparagus

Trim asparagus and have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook asparagus until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes, and with tongs transfer to ice water to stop cooking. Drain asparagus well in a colander and pat dry. Gently toss asparagus with vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1 lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive
salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze enough juice from lemons to measure 1/3 cup. In a bowl combine lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in oil in a slow stream. Vinaigrette may be made 3 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring vinaigrette to room temperature before proceeding. Yield: 1 cup. Yield: 6 servings.

Asparagus Au Gratin

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 bunches, hot, freshly cooked asparagus spears

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a casserole dish. In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and stir with a wire whisk until blended. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock and half and half to a boil and add all at once to butter flour mixture, stirring vigorously with the whisk until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Add the cheddar, Parmesan, salt and pepper and stir until the cheeses melt. Alternate layers of sauce and asparagus in a buttered casserole, ending with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and brown quickly under a preheated broiler or bake in a preheated 450F oven for 5 minutes.

Creamed Asparagus

1 pound fresh asparagus, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon brandy
˝ cup milk
1 tablespoon Wondra sauce and gravy flour
salt and pepper to taste
buttered toast for serving

Simmer asparagus in water until tender. Drain. Add butter and diced onion to pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add brandy and simmer for 30 seconds. Add cooked asparagus, milk and Wondra flour. Simmer for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over buttered toast.

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