National Asparagus Day is celebrated annually on May 24 to honour and enjoy one of spring's most beloved vegetables. This day marks the peak of asparagus season, encouraging people to indulge in its fresh and nutritious spears. Cooking asparagus is simple and versatile, making it easy to include in various meals. To prepare, wash the spears thoroughly and trim the tough, woody ends. One popular method is roasting: preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelised. Alternatively, you can steam asparagus by placing it in a steamer basket over boiling water for 5-7 minutes or sauté it in a pan with a bit of butter or oil until it’s bright green and tender-crisp, typically around 5 minutes. As you observe National Asparagus Day, we at LatestLY have compiled a list of dishes you can prepare. From Masala To Stir Fry, 4 Indian-Style Asparagus Recipes That Are Must-Try

Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus risotto is a creamy and flavourful dish perfect for showcasing the tender texture and delicate flavour of asparagus. Start by sautéing chopped onions and garlic in butter, then add Arborio rice and cook until lightly toasted. Gradually add warm chicken or vegetable broth, stirring constantly, until the rice is creamy and cooked al dente. In the final few minutes of cooking, stir in blanched asparagus pieces and grated Parmesan cheese. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper for a bright, zesty touch.

Asparagus Risotto (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Asparagus and Prosciutto Tart

This savoury tart combines the crispness of puff pastry with the rich flavours of prosciutto and asparagus. Roll out puff pastry on a baking sheet, then spread a layer of ricotta cheese mixed with a bit of lemon zest and black pepper. Arrange trimmed asparagus spears and thin slices of prosciutto on top. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crispy. Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or chives before serving.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Tart (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Asparagus and Lemon Pasta

A light and refreshing pasta dish that highlights the bright flavours of asparagus and lemon. Cook your favourite pasta according to package instructions. In a large skillet, sauté minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then add trimmed and cut asparagus pieces. Cook until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Toss in the cooked pasta, and add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, grated Parmesan cheese, and a handful of chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately for a quick and delicious meal.

Asparagus and Lemon Pasta (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

These asparagus dishes not only celebrate the unique flavour and versatility of this nutritious vegetable but also bring a touch of elegance and freshness to any meal. Whether you're indulging in the creamy comfort of risotto, enjoying the savoury crispness of a tart, or savouring the zesty brightness of lemon pasta, asparagus is sure to elevate your culinary experience. Embrace the bounty of asparagus season and explore these delightful recipes to enhance your table.

Wishing everyone a Happy National Asparagus Day!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 24, 2024 05:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website