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Asparagus Season: Fresh From the Field to the Table

Published on
02 April 2020
Chef Silvano
Chef Silvano

In the picturesque village of Willowbrook, nestled between rolling hills and beside a gentle, meandering river, there was an annual event that filled the hearts of the townsfolk with anticipation: asparagus season. Every spring, when the meadows were carpeted with wildflowers and the trees burst into a chorus of blossoms, the asparagus would make its grand appearance.

At the heart of Willowbrook was the charming Tully’s Farm, known far and wide as the epicenter of the town’s asparagus celebration. For generations, the Tully family had cultivated this prized vegetable, and each year, they transformed the arrival of asparagus into a festive occasion.

Old Mr. Tully, with his weathered hands and a perpetual twinkle in his eye, had been the guardian of the asparagus fields for as long as anyone could remember. His love for the emerald spears was legendary, and he knew every secret of nurturing them to perfection.

As the first green shoots poked through the rich, dark soil, the entire town would come alive with excitement. Families, friends, and curious travelers gathered at Tully’s Farm, ready for the grand harvest.

One chilly morning, as the sun cast a warm embrace over the fields, Mr. Tully emerged with a basket brimming with freshly picked asparagus. Cheers erupted from the crowd, and his eyes sparkled with pride. He knew that these humble spears would bring joy and culinary delight to so many.

The townspeople wasted no time. The asparagus was quickly transformed into a plethora of delectable dishes: asparagus risotto, asparagus and goat cheese tarts, and the town’s favorite – crispy asparagus fries. Every household had its secret recipe, but all agreed that asparagus season was a time for gastronomic creativity.

Willowbrook’s school organized an asparagus-themed art festival. Children painted vibrant green stalks, and local artists crafted intricate sculptures from asparagus spears. It seemed that asparagus had woven its way into every facet of life in Willowbrook.

Yet, as much as asparagus brought the town together, it held a deeper significance for the Tully family. It symbolized tradition, the passing down of wisdom from one generation to the next. Mr. Tully would teach his grandchildren the art of caring for the asparagus patch, the perfect timing for harvesting, and the magic of turning those humble spears into culinary treasures.

Years passed, and Mr. Tully grew older. His steps became slower, and his back ached more each day, but his passion for asparagus never waned. One spring, he announced that it was time for him to pass the responsibility to a new generation. He gathered his grandchildren around him, their faces eager to learn.

“Remember,” he said with a twinkle in his eye, “asparagus is more than just a vegetable. It’s a connection to our roots, to this village, and to the love we share for each other.”

And so, the asparagus fields continued to thrive, passing through the hands of generations like a cherished heirloom. As the townsfolk indulged in their asparagus feasts year after year, they also cherished the values of family, tradition, and the beauty of a close-knit village life that asparagus season symbolized.

In Willowbrook, asparagus season wasn’t just about food; it was about love, community, and the enduring legacy of the Tullys and their beloved patch of green.

Where to Pick Fresh Asparagus


Picking fresh asparagus can be a delightful experience, and it’s often available at local farms, farmers’ markets, or even in the wild. Here are some common places to find fresh asparagus:

  1. Local Farms: Many farms across the country offer “pick-your-own” options for various crops, including asparagus. You can visit a nearby farm during the asparagus season and pick your own fresh spears. Check online or call local farms to inquire about their pick-your-own asparagus availability.
  2. Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ markets are excellent places to find fresh, locally grown produce. Asparagus is a seasonal item, so check with your local farmers’ market during the spring to see if any vendors are selling freshly harvested asparagus.
  3. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs: Joining a CSA program can be a great way to access fresh, locally grown asparagus. CSA members typically receive a weekly or monthly share of seasonal produce from a local farm.
  4. Wild Asparagus: In some regions, you may find wild asparagus growing along roadsides, in ditches, or near water sources. Be sure to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before foraging for wild asparagus. It’s essential to practice sustainable harvesting and leave enough plants to ensure future growth.
  5. Your Own Garden: If you’re a gardening enthusiast, consider growing your own asparagus. Asparagus plants can thrive in home gardens, and once established, they can provide fresh spears for years to come.
  6. U-Pick Farms: Some farms specialize in allowing customers to pick their own produce. These farms may charge by the pound or offer a fixed price for a certain quantity of asparagus. Check for U-pick farms in your area.
  7. Local Orchards or Vineyards: Some orchards and vineyards diversify their offerings by growing asparagus. These locations might have fresh asparagus available for purchase during the season.
Please Note

When picking asparagus, look for firm, straight stalks with tightly closed tips. Fresh asparagus should have a vibrant green color and a slight sheen. The spears should snap easily when bent. The best time to find fresh asparagus is typically in the spring, with the peak season varying depending on your location and climate. Enjoy the process of selecting and preparing this delicious and nutritious vegetable!

How to Clean and Cook Asparagus

Cleaning and cooking asparagus is a straightforward process that can result in a delicious and nutritious side dish. Here’s how to clean and cook asparagus:


Cleaning Asparagus:

  1. Wash the Asparagus: Start by rinsing the asparagus under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently rub the spears with your fingers to ensure they are clean.
  2. Trim the Ends: Hold a single spear of asparagus near the base and bend it until it naturally snaps. This will remove the tough, woody end, leaving you with the tender upper portion. Alternatively, you can use a knife to trim about 1-2 inches from the base of each spear.
  3. Peel if Necessary: If your asparagus spears are particularly thick and tough, you can use a vegetable peeler to lightly peel the lower portion of the stalks. This can help make them more tender and easier to eat.

Cooking Asparagus:

There are several methods to cook asparagus, including roasting, steaming, boiling, grilling, and sautéing. Here are instructions for a couple of popular methods:

  1. Roasting Asparagus:
    • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
    • Place the cleaned and trimmed asparagus spears on a baking sheet.
    • Drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and any desired herbs or spices.
    • Toss the asparagus to coat evenly with the oil and seasonings.
    • Roast in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. They should become tender and slightly crispy at the tips.
  2. Steaming Asparagus:
    • Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil.
    • Trim and clean the asparagus as described above.
    • Place a steamer basket over the boiling water, making sure the bottom of the basket doesn’t touch the water.
    • Add the asparagus to the steamer basket and cover with a lid.
    • Steam for 2-4 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender but still crisp. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the spears.
  3. Sautéing Asparagus:
    • Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of oil or butter.
    • Add the cleaned and trimmed asparagus to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
    • Sauté for 5-7 minutes, occasionally tossing or stirring the spears, until they become tender and slightly browned.
Please Note

Remember to taste the asparagus as you cook it to ensure it reaches your preferred level of doneness. Overcooking can make the spears mushy, so aim for a crisp-tender texture.

Once your asparagus is cooked, you can further enhance its flavor with a drizzle of lemon juice, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, or a dash of balsamic vinegar, depending on your preferences. Enjoy your perfectly cooked asparagus as a side dish or incorporate it into your favorite recipes.


My Favorite Asparagus Recipes

Discover the vibrant world of asparagus with our mouthwatering recipes. From elegant roasted asparagus with parmesan to zesty lemon-infused asparagus risotto, these dishes celebrate the exquisite flavors of this seasonal gem. Get ready to elevate your culinary experience with our favorite asparagus recipes.


Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to impress, these asparagus creations offer a delightful blend of taste and presentation. Explore our collection and let asparagus take center stage on your dining table.

Take a nostalgic journey down memory lane with our cherished asparagus recipes from my childhood. These dishes, passed down through generations, evoke the comforting flavors of yesteryears. Join us in recreating the magic and savor the timeless taste of asparagus with a sprinkle of cherished memories.