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If it’s spring, it's asparagus time

I love those tender, tasty spears and there’s no time like spring for so many fresh vegetables, especially asparagus. The usual color we see is green but white and purple are also available and have a decidedly different flavor.

Asparagus should be cooked until crisp tender. A little crunch left in the stalk. Asparagus risotto is an Italian classic and for myself I clean and cut the stalks, on the bias (at an angle), setting them aside while I cook the risotto. When I am 5 to 7 minutes from the finish of this wonderful dish I’ll stir in the asparagus and it cooks while I wind up the preparation of the risotto.

Other methods can include toasting panko bread crumbs in a small sauté pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and a touch of garlic. Steam some cleaned and trimmed asparagus spears and when plated sprinkle on the toasted panko. I’m starting to get hungry here!

For me grilling season has officially begun so here’s a way to do up your asparagus while you attend to your steaks.

Garlic Grilled Asparagus

Serves 4

1 lb asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed

2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil

1 clove crushed garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1Tbl fresh lemon juice

While grill is heating add garlic to olive oil and stir. When ready, strain garlic out of oil and toss the oil with the asparagus. Place asparagus on heated grill, crosswise to grate. Grill a couple of minutes and roll them over for a minute or two on the other side. The amount of time needed to achieve crisp tender depends on how hot is the grill and how thick is the asparagus.

When done remove from grill to serving plate and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.

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