80°F
weather icon Clear

Divas on a Dime: Making the most of asparagus in season

What’s my favorite thing about spring? All the spring veggies, from artichoke to zucchini. But the ultimate luxury must be asparagus. It’s in peak season and often on sale. Sing it with me! This is the dawning of the age of asparagus! Age of asparagus! Asparaguuuus!!!

When buying asparagus, look for firm stalks with bright color and closed tips. It’s best to eat asparagus the day you buy it. If that’s not possible, store asparagus in the fridge with a damp paper towel wrapped around the bottom of the stalks and it’ll last a couple of days.

We’re going to use every morsel of your asparagus, even the tough ends. We’ll oven roast the stalks in a way that makes the tips delectably crisp. The ends are out of the compost and onto the table with asparagus ends soup.

First, rinse in cold water and snap off the bottom ends of the stalks. Reserve the ends to make soup.

You can cook asparagus many ways. Boil or steam until just tender, 3 to 8 minutes depending on thickness.

Braise, grill or stir-fry your asparagus. The easiest method is to microwave. Place asparagus in a microwave safe baking dish, add ¼ cup water and cover tightly. Microwave on HIGH until tender, about 4 minutes.

My personal favorite is Oven Roast Asparagus (pictured). Preheat oven to 400°F degrees. Lay the asparagus on a sheet pan and brush with olive oil, being especially liberal on the tips. Generously season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks. The tips turn out beautifully crisp and the stalks are caramelized and tender.

ASPARAGUS ENDS SOUP

What You’ll Need:

Ends from three pounds of asparagus

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

½ teaspoon chicken base (like Better Than Bouillon)

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Here’s How:

In a medium saucepan, cover the asparagus ends with water by one inch. Bring to a low boil for one hour. Let cool. When cool enough to touch, use an immersion blender to puree the softened ends as much as possible. Stop often to carefully clear the tough fibers from the blades of the blender. Strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer, pressing and squeezing the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible. You should have about 5 cups concentrated broth. Now the pulp can go into compost.

Chop the potatoes into ½ inch chunks and add to broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer until potato is soft, about 25 minutes. While the soup cooks, clean your immersion blender, making sure to clear fibers from under the blades. Puree the soup until creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Combine, heat and serve.

This soup makes a great first course or light lunch. Do you have the song “Age of Aquarius” stuck in your head, too? You’re welcome.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
CASA Luau is set for the Pahrump community

It’s a sad reality of life that there are many children who do not have a stable, loving home but are instead enmeshed in the foster care system, through no fault of their own.

Divas on a Dime: Turkey meatballs are super easy dinner winner

Sometimes ground turkey gets a bad rap. Years ago, turkey was significantly less expensive than hamburger so frugal-minded folks started swapping it in recipes calling for ground beef with mixed results.

Dinner theater performance set to debut in Pahrump

The Shadow Mountain community Players are mixing it up a little in their final dinner theater performance of 2019 with “Sex Please, We’re Sixty,” an American comedy, opening this weekend at Nevada Treasure RV Resort.

A call to all cooks, the Pahrump Taco Fest is coming

Pahrump residents should prepare to have their taste buds tantalized this coming October, when well-known locals Deanna O’Donnell and her daughter Darbie O’Donnell host the 2nd Annual Pahrump Taco Fest.

Divas on a Dime: A new twist on an ancient recipe – Barbacoa

If you enjoy Mexican inspired food, then you’ve seen barbacoa on the menu of many Mexican restaurants. It’s slow-cooked, well-seasoned beef known for being so succulently tender it literally melts in your mouth.

Former Bay City Roller to perform in Pahrump

For those not familiar with his name, musician Duncan Faure has performed at venues around the world over the past several decades.

Divas on a Dime: The secret for perfect BBQ chicken for Labor Day

The lazy days of summer wind down to an end this Labor Day weekend. As we say good-bye let’s enjoy the holiday with some crazy delicious barbecued chicken. Sound good? I thought so.