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Dinner Ideas Starring Asparagus

Asparagus is definitely one of the top 5 of the most exciting springtime vegetables. It's easy to incorporate green vegetables into your diet, but it to make them the star of the meal can be a bit more challenging. That's why here we've rounded up our favorite recipes that truly feature the springtime favorite and make a complete meal. asparagus recipes

asparagus recipes

Try these recipes and let us know what you think! For origins, preparation, and nutrition facts for asparagus, check out our Back to Basics: Asparagus feature. Also, read here about how spring makes eating both healthy and simple.

5 Great Pasta Enhancers

Boil water, add pasta, dress with sauce-an easy Italian dinner, but one that can quickly becomes repetitive and dull. Spice up your pasta life with these five easy enhancers! Pasta tastes great cold, too. Pack up any leftovers for an outdoor picnic.

1. Asparagus and bacon: The arrival of spring means that fresh asparagus is once again a hot menu item. After roasting your asparagus spears until tender, mix with your favorite pasta shape and crumble bacon on top. Olive oil and a hard cheese like Grana Padano bring the whole dish together.

2. Lemon zest and parsley: A little lemon zest and minced parsley go a long way towards making a pasta dinner interesting. Citrus and green herbs make pasta light and refreshing. Try this enhancer with corkscrew or ridged pastas, shapes that will deliver those toppings with every bite.

3. Parmesan and scallions: Cheese is a classic accompaniment with pasta, but why not add a pungent kick as well? Scallions add green color and a deep onion-y flavor to pasta dishes; mixed up with melted Parmesan, they transform an ordinary weeknight into a brief trip to Italy. For easy grating, try using a microplane.

4. Mustard and bread crumbs: Mustard with pasta? Think outside that jar of sauce and bake a casserole with wide, flat noodles, ricotta, and a crispy bread crumb layer on top. Mix those bread crumbs with mustard for heat and panache. Try one of these more unusual mustards instead of the usual yellow brand.

5. Roasted red peppers and olive oil: Smoky and sweet, roasted red peppers make spaghetti exciting. Coat noodles with a fruity, resinous olive oil, grate some pecorino, and let the kids dig in. For a little extra protein, add a link or two of Italian sausage.

These easy pasta flavor combinations will make family dinner time a noteworthy event. What are your favorite pasta toppings?

Bring The Flavors Of Spring Into Your Home With Some Asparagus!

Young asparagus is a fantastic vegetable - these shoots are absolutely packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're a powerhouse of nutrients and flavor, even hailed historically for its medicinal properties. Asparagus, unlike most plants, can grow in saline-rich soils near oceans and also is a great companion to plant with tomatoes to naturally repel pests. The prime season for asparagus begins in late April and continues through the summer. There are many ways to bring out the best in asparagus, including roasting, sauteing, and even grilling. Since it is full of natural flavor, you can prepare asparagus simply or gussy it up by frying it or adding sauces.

Asparagus can star in as a dish of its own - try roasting it with olive oil, salt and pepper or adding a hollandaise sauce on top - or as an ingredient. I like to add asparagus to any type of salad, such as green salad or even rice and pasta salads. Par-boiling this veggie for a few minutes allows it to bring out its nutrients and aroma while maintaining a refreshing crunch!

Top 5 Most Exciting Spring Vegetables

Spring is almost here which means we're jonesing for the plentiful fruits and vegetables that will begin to fill the farmers' market stalls. After winter dinners of butternut squash, roasted vegetables, and whole grains, it's time to get green and bring some color to the plate. Many of these ingredients are so fresh and tasty that all you need is a little salt and pepper to enhance their flavors. Here are our top 5 most exciting spring vegetables to look for at the farmer's market: 1. Artichokes - Actually a thistle, the Globe Artichoke starts to arrive at farmers' markets in the spring. Delicious steamed with a simple butter sauce, artichokes are also a versatile ingredient for topping with pizza, or even baking into a pie. 2. Asparagus - A member of the lily family, asparagus is delicious roasted and tossed with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Let them caramelize in the oven and then eat with your fingers for a delicious treat. 3. Radishes - Enjoy the candy of springtime sliced and layered on a buttered slice of whole grain bread. Top with high-quality olive oil and sea salt for a light afternoon snack. 4. Peas - Like many other spring ingredients, peas are delightful seasoned with only butter and salt. Steam or boil peas, then toss with butter, salt, pepper, and add some freshly chopped spearmint leaves for added punch. 5. Fava Beans - These beans, known as "broad beans" in the UK, are nutty in taste, and have a soft, buttery texture that are traditionally paired with lamb, another spring arrival.