Even if my kids are asking for mac and cheese for dinner, I always ensure I serve at least one veggie on the side. From an early age they have been trained that veggies are simply part of the meal and have grown to love them (most of them anyway… I’m pretty sure eggplant will never make the cut!).
Right now, asparagus is the veggie of choice as it’s abundantly grown in the spring season. Our local farmers market is full of fresh, locally grown bunches, and I cannot resist buying enough to mass-produce soup for freezing, steam for quick side dishes or add to my lunches.
My kids like asparagus best when lightly steamed, crisp and tender. Overcooking can turn it to mush and produce a less-than-appealing experience. Crisp sticks can be used the same as carrot sticks, dipped in hummus or their favourite dips.
Benefits: Good source of vitamins A, C, K, thiamin, folic acid and riboflavin
When selecting: Look for asparagus with tight buds and smooth skin. Spears should not be withered, brown or limp. Smaller spears are especially tender and require slightly less cook time.
Storage and handling: Store asparagus upright with water at its base for 2 to 3 days. Rinse well before using.
Preparation: Snap the stems where they naturally break to remove the woody bottom portion. Cut into pieces or use whole spears. Steam (or cook in a little water) for approximately 5 minutes, until crisp yet tender.
Try my Cream of Asparagus Soup.