Solomon Recipes

I started this blog so I could pass along family recipes to my children. Most of these recipes are Eaton recipes.

But, no need to share the last name Solomon. The majority of the recipes are made by me, Mother Goose, my Sister in law, Gretchen and two friends Leta and HK. If you would like to be a contributor, just holla!


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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fresh Asparagus

I always eat asparagus when we go out for dinner if it is on the menu. My children never eat aspargus and since they have tried a few new vegetables I thought I would share the experience with them. They turned out great! They appreciated the new vegetable but I can't say it was a favorite. ( I have no idea why!) However, they did eat the asaragus that were on their plates.
Asparagus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 100-150 cm tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The 'leaves' are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm long and 1 mm broad, and clustered 4–15 together. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 mm long, with six tepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of 2-3 in the junctions of the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter. Asparagus is eaten worldwide, commonly with eggs in China and with beef in Britain. It is not considered a delicacy as it is very cheap and easy to obtain.
Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. It was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter.[verification needed] It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favour in the seventeenth century.


Only the young shoots of asparagus are eaten. Asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber, and rutin. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.

The shoots are prepared and served in a number of ways around the world. In Asian-style cooking, asparagus is often stir-fried. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or beef, also wrapped in bacon. Asparagus may also be quickly grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers. It is an ingredient in stews and soups. In the French style, it is boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil, Parmesan cheese or mayonnaise. The best asparagus tends to be early growth (first of the season) and is often simply steamed and served with melted butter. Tall asparagus cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently.

Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for several years. Some brands may label them as "marinated" which means the same thing.
The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand, and as such proper preparation is generally advised in cooking asparagus.

Asparagus rhizomes and root is used ethnomedically to treat urinary tract infections, as well as kidney and bladder stones. It is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
Ingestion of Asparagus may bring on an attack of gout[9] in certain individuals due to the high level of purines.
To select :
Look for spears with a vivid color and no blemishes and bruises. The buds at the tip should be tightly closed, and the base of each stalk should appear freshly cut. Whether you choose pencil-thin, standard or jumbo is a matter of personal preference. All can be equally tender as long as they are fresh. For the best flavor, enjoy asparagus at the peak of its season from March to May. At other times of the year, the asparagus in your market has likely been flown in from a distant country.

To store :

Remove any bands that bid the spears together, and put the bases of the stems in a glass filled with about 2" of water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Changing the water daily will help the asparagus stay fresh longer, but for the best flavor, enjoy asparagus soon after you've bought it.
To trim :
Hold one end of the asparagus spear in each hand and bend the stalk. The spear will naturally break at the point where it becomes tough.

I chose to boil mine. Have a large pot of water and add salt. I had fresh chicken stock or broth on hand and used the boiling water from the chicken and just put the asparagus in that. I also added one can of chicken broth. This lends to a great flavor to the asparagus.

Boil for 7 to 10 minutes. Watch for the change of the vegetable to turn to a vibrant beautiful green. You want your asparagus tender but not over done and still slightly firm.
Carefully remove from water and drain. Add salt pepper and slice a lemon to add as a garnish. It also gives a great zip to the veggie.

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