From Marla Vargas-Mundey at LAJ Foods
Time for Asparagus!
I love the first weeks the markets open because it means asparagus is ready! Most folks just grill or roast it with lemon and garlic, and that’s fine since it doesn’t need a lot done to it to make it delicious. However, I like to make it center stage for my meals. Here are two favorites in my house.
Asparagus and Avocado Quesadillas
2 tsp oil
4 tortilla of your choice
8 spears of asparagus blanched and sliced in half
1 tomato sliced thinly
½ red onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bell pepper sliced
2 jalapeño peppers seeded and sliced
1 avocado sliced
½ cup of cilantro leaves rinsed
Salsa of your choice – I suggest black bean and corn
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, jalapeño, and garlic, and season with salt. Cook until soft.
2. Spread 1/3 cup filling on one-half of each tortilla, and add 3 asparagus halves and ¼ of the avocado slices on each tortilla. Leave 1/2-inch border around edges, then fold tortillas to enclose filling.
3. Coat large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Cook quesadillas in skillet 2 to 3 minutes, turning once.
4. Top with cilantro and salsa and ENJOY!
This makes a great dip, sandwich spread, pizza sauce or whatever you want it to be! It’s sort of magical like that.
1 pound of asparagus
½ cup parsley, basil or cilantro
¼ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Juice of ½ lemon, plush 2 tsp zest
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup of nutritional yeast
¼ cup water or vegetable stock
1 tsp of salt
- Wash and blanch the asparagus
- Place the asparagus, herbs, seeds, lemon juice, zest, garlic, oil, and nutritional yeast in a blender and blend to desired consistency
- If you need to thin the mix add water or stock by the tablespoon until the mixture thins. Add salt as needed.
Cooking Note: To prepare my asparagus for most any dish, I first rinse and discard of any “woody ends” by simply snapping the ends off each stalk. I then blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2-4 minutes. I know it’s done when the color goes bright green. I then get it into a pot of ice water right away to retain that beautiful color. If it’s early in the season and the asparagus is very tender, then the blanching step can be skipped.