Asparagus has a short season, so make the most of it while you can! Here are nine ideas of what goes well with asparagus to help get you started.
Asparagus is a delicious, healthy, and juicy spring vegetable, that is enjoyed around the world. Steamed, roasted or stir-fried, it is often the centre of a dish rather than simply a side vegetable. Asparagus season usually starts towards the end of February until June, but the peak asparagus months are April and May. Although green is the most typical type of asparagus, you can also find white asparagus which tends to be thicker. Always wash asparagus and trim the woody part off the base of each spear before consuming, and make sure to cook your asparagus the right way to make the most of the vegetable. And as always, choose local and organic produce wherever possible.
In order to make the most of this spring vegetable, you should learn what goes with asparagus. Scroll down for 9 vegan ideas for ways to serve the juicy spears.
1. Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
Steamed asparagus covered in hollandaise sauce is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the vegetable. Silky, decadent, and slightly tangy, it complements the juicy snap of the green or white spears. Though traditionally made with butter and egg yolks, vegan hollandaise sauce can be made using vegan butter or margarine with either silken tofu or oat-based cream. You might also be able to buy ready made vegan hollandaise sauce in your local grocery store.
2. Lemon and Vegan Butter
Think of it as a cheater hollandaise sauce. Steamed asparagus with a squeeze of organic lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, and a little melted butter really allows the fresh spring vegetable to shine through.
3. Vegan Lox
Asparagus is crisp and juicy, and goes excellently with the smoky flavor of vegan lox. For an excellent appetizer, wash and trim the woody end of a bunch of organic asparagus and pan fry in a little vegan butter. Serve with vegan smoked salmon, vegan cream cheese and sourdough toast.
4. Spring Pasta
For a healthy and delicious mid week treat, try making a light pasta dish featuring asparagus and vegan bacon.
While your vegan-friendly pasta of choice cooks, fry up some chunks of tempeh bacon in a little bit of olive oil. Add a few spears of green asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces and fry for a few minutes. Drain the pasta but keep a tablespoon or so of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the bacon and asparagus, season with salt, pepper and olive oil, and add the splash of cooking water. Serve with some homemade vegan parmesan cheese.
5. Vegan Quiche
Asparagus quiche is a spring-time seasonal favorite. The soft filling complements the crisp asparagus and tender pastry well. You can substitute the egg and cream filling with blended silken tofu, a little kala namak and chickpea flour. You could even sprinkle some vegan mozzarella on top half way through baking. Making vegan pastry from scratch is easy. Simply follow any shortcrust pastry recipe and replace the butter with a vegan alternative like margarine.
The nutty crunch of roasted hazelnuts goes well with asparagus. Garlic, fresh asparagus and hazelnuts roasted together will be a great vegetable side dish to serve with vegan steak or schnitzel. Arrange a few handfuls of prepared asparagus of to a baking tray (there is no need to line it with parchment paper), scatter over three to four cloves of sliced garlic, and a handful of chopped organic hazelnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes at 340°F.
7. Spicy Salad
Asparagus can also be enjoyed raw, and the fresh crunch goes very well in a Thai inspired spicy salad. Use a speed peeler to shave a pound of spears into long thin strips and place in a medium sized bowl. Halve 10 or so organic cherry tomatoes and add them in. Make a dressing in a clean jar using 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and fresh lime juice, 2 minced cloves of garlic and 3 chopped birds eye chillies (use more or less, depending on your spice tolerance). Add a pinch of organic sugar, screw on the lid and shake. Pour over the asparagus and tomatoes and mix well. Sprinkle over some crushed salted peanuts and fresh cilantro, and serve with some crispy tofu.
The rich, starchy risotto rice paired with fresh green asparagus really is a spring-time weekend lunch highlight. Traditional risotto recipes can easily be made vegan – simply substitute butter with vegan butter or a good quality olive oil, use homemade broth and double check that the wine or vermouth you use is vegan.
9. ‘Shrimp’ Tacos
Making vegan ‘shrimp’ tacos is a great way to use up some of the smaller or more skinny spears, to ensure nothing goes to waste. Not only is it a great way to season the vegetable, but the process of making and eating tacos is a fantastic family activity.
- How Long Does Asparagus Last? How to Keep Asparagus Fresh
- Vegan Asparagus Soup: Making it From Scratch
- How to Freeze Asparagus: Preserving the Spring Vegetable
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