Stalk Talk

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They’re back! Domestic asparagus from California. And they could not have come a moment too soon for this weary winter eater. It has been tough scouring the grocery stores and farmers markets for local winter ingredients so asparagus are a welcome change. Usually sold in tight bunches, look for those that feel tight in your hands. The tips should be closed, not open and the stalk ends should not look dried or cracked. If they are, that is a sign that it is past its peak.

It is best to cook them as soon as possible although you  can wrap them in paper towel and stand them up in a container with a bit of water in the base and keep them in the refrigerator for several days. Steamed, boiled, baked, roasted and grilled are all good cooking methods though for my mine roasting really brings out the nutty flavor.

Roasted Asparagus with Asiago Cheese

Serves 4

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
½ cup grated Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 375F

Pour the oil onto a non stick baking sheet and sprinkle the salt over the oil.

Turn the asparagus in the oil and salt mixture as you line them up in a single layer. 

Roast them for 7-10 minutes or until a knife easily pierces them; this could take less or more time depending on the thickness of the stalks

Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese.

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