This past weekend I was a little busy but the weekend before that I managed to make it down to the downtown farmer’s market to pick up a few vegetables and other assorted goodies. I was very excited to see large bunches of fresh asparagus at the Edgar Farms booth, and bought some for that evening’s dinner.
According to the tag on my bunch of asparagus:
“Edgar Farms is a sixth generation family farm established 1907, located in the beautiful parkland just west of Innisfail in central Alberta. Our cool climate produces extremely tender and sweet asparagus. To further enhance the sweetness of our individually hand picked asparagus it is chilled immediately in ice cold water to remove field heat quickly.”
In my experience, their asparagus tastes 10 times better than anything you can buy in a regular grocery store. They sell their food at both the Calgary and Edmonton farmer’s markets so if you have the opportunity to try their products, I highly recommend that you do so. Their farm isn’t quite within a 100 mile radius of Edmonton, but it’s pretty darned close. (It does fit the Calgary 100 mile diet, however.)
The majority of the time I will quickly blanch asparagus, cooking their tips for slightly less time than the bottom halves, and eating them straight up like that instead of bothering to add butter. Since I bought three bunches this time I decided to do something a little different with one bunch. Roasted asparagus tastes best straight from the oven, as when it gets cold it will become slightly soggy.
1 bunch asparagus
some sort of coarse salt like kosher or sea salt
To prepare your asparagus, the easiest way is to grip the two ends of the asparagus and let the end naturally snap off. The asparagus will snap at the point where the vegetable is harder and more fibrous, leaving you the more tender part to eat. Wide pieces of asparagus will snap higher on the stem; narrow, more younger asparagus will snap closer to the bottom.
Rinse and lay the stalks on a baking tray. Add a liberal amount of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. Make sure each asparagus piece has room on the baking tray.
Place in an over at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Serve the asparagus with a splash of balsamic vinegar. This will give the stalks a slightly sweeter taste.