Asparagus is a beloved spring vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. Here’s a look at three diverse uses for the delicious food.
1. Grilled Asparagus
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled (if desired)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Coat asparagus with two tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill at high heat, turning occasionally, for five to eight minutes. Cut lemon in half and place cut side down on the grill for three minutes. Transfer to plate and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.
2. Bacon and Asparagus Pasta
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, stalks and tips cut into 1-inch segments
1/4 pound bacon, finely sliced
8 scallions, finely sliced, whites and greens reserved separately
1 pound fettucine
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish
Boil a large pot of salted water. Add asparagus and cook until tender (two minutes). Chill in ice bath. Dry and set side. Keep water on stove for pasta.
Cook bacon at medium-high heat for about five minutes. Add asparagus for two minutes. Add scallion whites and cook — stirring constantly — for two minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of asparagus cooking water.
Boil asparagus water and add pasta. Cook to package instructions. Reserve one cup of water and drain. Add that cup to the bacon and asparagus. Without heat, add lemon juice and zest, butter, parsley, scallion greens and black pepper. Stir until the butter is completely melted. Add cheese.
3. Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto
1 pound asparagus (about 19 stalks), trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 paper-thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Snap the dry stem ends off each asparagus and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until the asparagus is tender (roughly 15 minutes). Cool completely. Wrap each asparagus in one piece of prosciutto. Serve at room temperature.