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Keeping it fresh and simple from the garden

The sun was shining and it finally felt like spring the other day.

Strangely, I giggle every time I walk past our little vegetable garden. Our asparagus is starting to grow! So far 10 little fingers of tender green goodness reaching towards the warm spring sky. It’s been a few years waiting for this bumper crop. Yes, that’s sarcasm – if gardening teaches anything, it’s patience.

All joking aside, asparagus is one of our favourite vegetables. It certainly needs to be appreciated and treated well. No over-cooking, not too thick and best enjoyed in its youthful state.

My preferred method of cooking it is on the grill. It provides a bit of smoke and flavour that boiling cannot provide, but watch your heat on the grill.

We have a few weeks left in the asparagus season, so do get out to the market or farm stand for some local asparagus. Cold or hot, this dish has few ingredients but lots of flavour.

Maybe next year we will yield a pound or two – who knows? – but at least we can enjoy our small successes. Happy gardening!

Asparagus and Elmira’s Own – this chef’s favourite side in May.

Grilled Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 bunch tender asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp. basil-infused olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pint Elmira’s Own cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. onion marmalade
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 more tsp. olive oil
  1. Preheat grill on medium heat. To prepare asparagus, sort through and size the spears. Double check that the asparagus isn’t too thick or woody; if it is, you will need to peel it lightly. Cut off the end to remove any woody parts.
  2. Place the asparagus in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus on all sides on medium heat until tender. Place on a platter.
  3. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, place on top of the asparagus, crumble goat cheese and garnish with onion marmalade.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and another drizzle of olive oil, then serve.

 

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