Eat Local Asparagus Challenge Weekend and a Recap

May 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Rob Gardner

This Local Family has made it through its second weekend of asparagus eating.  While walking the dog last night, my older daughter and I discussed the reasons for such Challenge, which mostly came down to our lives were not quite nuts enough already.  Believe me, with Molly the Eat Local Dog; she of the crashed window, the packing away of a Rubik’s cube sized block of feta, the chewed shoes, the daily attack on the mail; who’s lives needed more craze.  Still, we proceed.  As we round the bend on to week two, needed yet another ruling.  Before that ruling, let’s cover Days 9, 10 and 11.

Risotto has been high on my wife’s list of asparagus recipes.  One of the most useful tricks she picked up from her long Mado apprenticeship was her risotto methodology, right down to the can of rice.  “Rob uses this one.”  Not only do I appreciate the outcome, I totally appreciate the inherent thrift of asparagus risotto, as the stock comes from the water used to cook the spears.  Day 9.

We had plans for dinner on Day 10, so had to ensure asparagus in a Saturday brunch.  As my wife is to risotto, I am to omelets.  Day 10.

Day 11′s asparagus went towards a brunch like creation even if we ate it for dinner.  On Friday my wife made salmon patties, finding use not only for some spare canned salmon but use for aged sunchokes and celery root.  She came up with this idea for leftovers: a riff on egg’s Benedict.  The leftover patty went  on a toast, topped with a poached egg (another Mado born skill), doused with Hollandaise and garnished with asparagus spears.

Hitting a new week, we ran into a major problem.  Not asparagus fatigue in the least.  Our problem, we had plans for every night through Friday.  There was simply no opportunity for asparagus come dinner time.  So, here’s what the Judge’s deemed.  As long as some member of the Local Family had asparagus each day, the Challenge would continue.  On Day 12, the Challenge was met by Mom eating leftover risotto for lunch as well as one daughter having cold asparagus in her school lunch.  Day 13 is covered because both daughters have asparagus vinaigrette in their lunches.  The kids should keep things handled until Friday.

The Any Family, Any Asparagus a Day ruling is the third needed ruling in this Challenge.  First, they ruled on Leftovers then we had to rule on asparagus nomenclature.  Perhaps we like the quibbling as much as the vegetable.

We like asparagus.

We like it raw and we like it cooked.

If most people call Milanese, with an  egg, we like that, but if famed cookbook author Sheila Lukins has her own version of Milanese, we like that too.

We have enjoyed asparagus with rice, with quinoa but not yet with pasta. 

Nor have we yet to have asparagus soup, asparagus pesto, or with hot butter or hot of the grill.  We have stuffed the asparagus into won ton wrappers, with ricotta cheese.

We have purchased asparagus from Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.  Purple and green.  Some really thick ones, but never a batch of pencil thin ones.

We only look ahead on our Eat Local Asparagus Challenge. 

Share with us how you are challenging yourself to eat this valued Spring crop.