14:RoastedAsparagus

Roasted asparagus topped with Italian-style salsa verde. Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink. Recipe appears on page 90 of Vinaigrettes & Other Dressings (Harvard Common Press, 2013, $16.95)

2014 Update: Nancy Skall of Middleton Farm is now harvesting her extraordinary asparagus. Laguna Farms, Triple T and several other farms have it, too. Try it topped with Italian style salsa verde, a recipe in my latest book, Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings.

2012 Update: Tierra Vegetables is the first out of the gate with local asparagus this year. They have it at their Santa Rosa farm stand just east of Highway 101 at the Airport Blvd. off ramp. Don’t expect it to last long.

When I was at Oliver’s Markets this morning, I spotted some on sale for 99 cents a pound. It’s time for a spring feast!

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When you get asparagus that has just been picked, it is delicious raw. My favorite way to enjoy it is to cut it into very thin diagonal slices, add some thinly sliced jamon serrano, a drizzle of my favorite olive oil, Davero, and some freshly ground black pepper. That’s it. It is absolutely delicious and takes just a few minutes to prepare.

Here are some of my other favorite asparagus recipes from the Seasonal Pantry archives. Once you’ve roasted asparagus in the oven, it likely will become your favorite technique. Flavors and textures are intensified and you don’t need to peel it, as you should when you steam or boil it.

Basic Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is a fern. The stalks that we eat poke through the soil in the spring, before the fern’s fronds appear. The very best asparagus is almost always the thickest, which are the youngest stalks

Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Warm Shallot Vinaigrette

Grilled Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs

A Little Salad of Celery, Radishes & Asparagus, with Goat Cheese Cream & Fried Capers

Asparagus with Poached Eggs, Frisee & Bacon

A Sicilian Frittata with Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus & Peas with Spring Herbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Rice

Roasted Asparagus with Smoked Trout, Mustard Cream and Arugula

Asparagus & Lemon Risotto