Kitchen Korner: Asparagus

Submitted by Mary Murray

When March and April finally arrive, the drabyellow-brown grasses of winter can seem toturn green overnight. Clumps of Daffodils standbravely against the early spring wind and rain and sometimes snow. Along the Lakeshore walking trails we begin to see plants like Dutchman’s Breeches and Blood Root show themselves. And, asparagus comes into season!

Native to the western coasts of Europe, asparagus has been used as a vegetable andmedicine dating to 3000 BC. It is so rich innutrients that it has an amino acid, aspargine, named after it.

Asparagus can sometimes be found alongside rural roads or railroad tracks. You have to have a good eye to spot it as the surrounding grasses grow taller than the stalks. Most of us buy our asparagus at the grocery store. The thinner thestalk, the younger and more tender the finished product. If you find yourself stuck with fatter,tougher stalks, you can still work with them. Cutthe woody part off the bottom and peel theouter layer almost all the way up to the head before cooking.

Here is a simple, tasty way to enjoy asparagus.

Asparagus Omelet

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped asparagus
2 tablespoons thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes 1⁄2 cup chopped mushrooms
1⁄2 teaspoon herb seasoning of your choice: Italian, Herbes de Provence etc.
1/4-1/3 cup shredded Swiss or crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons butter

In large skillet heat olive oil. Sauté asparagus, tomatoes and mushrooms and herbs till they are tender to the bite. Remove to plate. Turn down heat a bit and melt the butter in the same skillet. Pour beaten egg into pan, swirl it around to cover bottom of pan and let it cook on low untileggs are set. Carefully flip omelet onto otherside, put veggies and cheese on one half and fold the other half over to make a half moon. Cook on low until cheese is melted.

Serves: 2