Asparagus Recipes

The asparagus season is upon us! Chef Robin Asbell shares two recipes.

Spring Farro Salad with Asparagus
Serves 4

1 cup farro (semi-pearled)
1/2 bunch young carrots with tops (reserve greens, if nice), quartered lengthwise
2 cups chopped asparagus
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or carrot tops)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a small pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil and add the farro. Place a lid, slightly ajar, on the pot, and reduce the heat to simmer for 25 minutes for semi-pearled, 45 minutes for whole farro. When the farro is tender, let stand off the heat for 5 minutes, then drain in a fine mesh strainer.

Set up a steamer and steam the carrot slices for 3 minutes, then place the asparagus on top of the carrots and steam for 2 minutes longer. Drain and add to the farro with the peas and parsley.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil and whisk to combine. Drizzle over the farro mixture and toss to coat.


Asparagus Spears in Phyllo

This recipe appeared in my second book, The New Vegetarian (Chronicle Books) but with olive oil in place of butter. You can use either one.

Makes 16 pieces, approximately

2 pieces phyllo dough (full-sized, or 4 half-sized)
¼ cup melted butter
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan
1 tablespoon lemon zest
16 asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed

1.Thaw phyllo in the refrigerator overnight. Oil a sheet pan and reserve. Open package and remove the sheets you need, then tightly re-wrap and freeze remaining. Place the sheets on a counter and cover with plastic wrap, then cover that with a barely damp towel. Mix the cheese and zest.

  1. Use a pastry brush to dab the phyllo with butter, then sprinkle half with 2 Tablespoons of cheese and zest. Fold in half and cut into four four- inch wide pieces. Place each asparagus spear diagonally, with the tip pointing to the lower left hand corner, and fold that corner over the tip. Roll the lower right corner over the spear and keep rolling to wrap completely, and place seam side down on the sheet pan. Brush with more butter.

(You can tightly wrap the pan and chill for up to 24 hours before baking.)

  1. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden.