Put on your chef's hat, and let's start enjoying some of these spring vegetables.
Asparagus is the first vegetable that comes up in our garden. The entire family enjoys eating it, and often eats the most slender spears raw while out picking enough for dinner.
The easiest way to blend herbs into your asparagus recipes is to flavor your butter before you saute or while creating the glaze for your dish.
I like to add minced, fresh herbs to the warm butter, just before tossing with the asparagus.
Another great way to be ready as the asparagus starts becoming available is to make a compound butter that is full of asparagus-friendly flavors. Keep these logs of pre-flavored butter in the fridge, and slice off a pat to melt over your freshly sauteed asparagus.
The one thing about asparagus that makes it seem extra special, is that the season only lasts a few weeks. Prepare your herbal butter ahead of time and be ready for those delicious spears!
Enjoy your asparagus with any of the following herbs, for added flavor.
Just as early as asparagus, chives can easily be snipped onto your sautéed spears at the last moment. This year, try to add some chopped chives to your asparagus dishes. Both are ready at the same time, and the slight bite from chives will go nicely with the butter and lemon flavor you add to the asparagus.
The fresh taste of lemon is fantastic when combined with asparagus. Why not use lemon balm for that bright flavor? I find snipping a few leaves into the bowl of steaming hot spears, releases the flavor in the time it takes me to carry the bowl to the dinner table.
I also include lemon balm, when I am making an asparagus dish that also contains egg. The naturally sunny flavor of the lemon balm compliments both foods and really seems to marry them well. Be certain to mince the lemon balm before using it in egg dishes. Using larger pieces can look unsavory when mixed in the light colored egg ingredient.
Remember that frozen dill that you froze last fall? Now is the time to take it out and use it! I am usually found making asparagus pickles, but adding some dill to the butter before tossing with my spears is also a great way to combine the two flavors.
Dill is a wonderful herb to use for an asparagus dish, the flavor doesn't overpower the freshness of the vegetable, but keeps it from tasting too bland.
Do you grow a herb that when it is ready to harvest, not know just what to do with it? Tarragon used to be that mysterious herb for me. Now, I use it to add zip and depth to my asparagus dish. Since both asparagus and tarragon both go so well with eggs, it is usually the combination that I turn to for a light brunch.