Fresh Fridays 
Celebrating asparagus

If you live in California, which is one of the top three asparagus growing states (along with Washington and Michigan), you will start to see locally grown asparagus any day now. The season begins in March on the West Coast and stretches through May in the Northeast.    

Keep checking your local markets and get ready to enjoy this delicious, nutritious, easy-to-cook vegetable as soon as it shows up. A member of the lily family and native to the Eastern Mediterranean, asparagus is a good source of vitamins A and C, and has more folic acid than any other vegetable. But the best reason to eat it is that it delivers a hauntingly sweet flavor that signals the arrival of spring.


Buy the freshest asparagus you can find: The stalks should be firm and the tips tightly closed. Plan to eat it as soon as you can once you bring it home. To prepare, wash it well, cut off the white bottom bits to save for stock, and if you wish, peel the lower portion of the each stalk to enhance the tenderness. (You may waste too much if you use the traditional stalk "snapping" method.) Cook it quickly! Sauté, roast, or grill to preserve its beautiful green color and fresh taste. Or, add a fingertip of water to the bottom of a sauté pan, bring to a boil, add the spears, cover, and cook for just a minute or two.


Asparagus is the perfect partner for a wide range of other Mediterranean foods, including onions, mushrooms, pasta, seafood, and eggs.

Web links

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Med Diet Grocery List  Mediterranean Diet Grocery List 
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Asparagus Prep Tips asparagus video
Watch this video from Michael Marks,
the produce man, courtesy of the
Raw Shaved Asparagus  
with Lemon Dressing
Don't have time to cook? Go raw! Chef Alice Waters popularized this novel way to enjoy very fresh asparagus at Chez Panisse, her restaurant in Berkeley. For best results, shave the stalks just before assembling this dish.
Toasted Sesame Balsamic Asparagus Toasted Sesame Balsamic Asparagus
This vegetable side dish, which goes nicely with other vegetables, seafood, or chicken, is as easy as it is delicious. Roasting the asparagus results in tender, yet crisp stalks, and the dressing adds a sweet, nutty flavor.


Asparagus for Little Fingers
Bring some fun to the dinner table and encourage your kids to play with their food! Here's a very easy way to introduce small hands and developing palates to fresh asparagus spears. Serve the hummus and the peanuts in small individual bowls to allow for double dipping. 

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   
To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:    

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)     




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