May is National Asparagus Month
Sing Hallelujah! Devotees of seasonal eating can finally retire the root vegetables and celebrate the abundant arrival of spring's early bounty. Asparagus, like the noble tomato, is theoretically available year-round, but neither tastes as good outside of its small window of seasonality. Plenty of local restaurants are offering dishes that highlight the tender green shoots, and the internet is bursting with recipes for the home chef to try with their own bundles of spring. Here are a few ways to enjoy asparagus this month, both at home and out and about.
The first, delicious harbingers of spring
The Red Stag Supperclub is offering an asparagus risotto with Pecorino Romano on its dinner menu for $16, in addition to its grilled asparagus appetizer with tarragon aioli and preserved tangelo ($5). Both Cafe Maude and Cafe Levain have an asparagus soup on the menu. Cafe Levain's will set you back $8 and is made with roasted mushrooms, brioche, lemon, and chives; Cafe Maude's cream of asparagus soup is made with grana padano, creme fraiche, and comes with grilled bread for $7.50.
The Black Forest Inn celebrates Sparglefest in late May--a multi-week festival dedicated to all things asparagus. They "wrap asparagus, roast it, mash it, candy it, and infuse vodka with asparagus to make the delicious Spargeltini." Through May 29, guests can enter to win a CSA membership at Turnip Rock farm, good for 16 weeks of fresh produce delivery throughout the summer.
Haute Dish has an ambitious asparagus salad on the menu this month, with ham salad, a poached egg, radish, and truffle vinaigrette ($13). If that sounds out of your league, there's always the trusty fried asparagus at Psycho Suzi's: beer battered and deep fried for an accessible $6.95.
For the home chef, Gwyneth Paltrow shared one of her favorite asparagus recipes in a recent issue of Food and Wine Magazine, and Deb Perelman of the famous Smitten Kitchen blog shared this delicious-looking recipe for a ribboned asparagus salad with lemon earlier this week.
The New York Times shared this lovely recipe for asparagus pesto last spring, and we can testify to its crowd pleasing abilities, even when served simply as a dip or garnish with crackers or bread. And local culinary store and school Kitchen Window provided this comprehensive guide to choosing, cleaning, prepping and cooking asparagus in their recent newsletter.
That should be enough to get you started on celebrating National Asparagus Month in style. If you have any other favorite asparagus recipes or know of restaurants featuring asparagus dishes on their spring menus, let us know in the comments section.