We love our spring greens and asparagus is no exception. It’s crisp, subtle in flavor, and simple to prepare.
In Montana, you can find green, white, purple, and even wild varieties.
Did you know that a well-managed asparagus bed can remain productive for up to 30 years? Newly planted asparagus can take a couple of years to get rolling but once it does, you will have new spears every spring! Asparagus appreciates moist soil and full sun. Plant your spears 6-8 inches deep and 12-18 inches in diameter.
In Montana, harvest can start as early as late-April in some regions and last until the beginning of July. After then, your spears will get tough and unpleasant to eat. It’s still important to tend to your plants and allow them to fully bloom post-harvest. The more energy that your asparagus plants can store during summer, the better your crop will be the following year!
Asparagus is rich in prebiotics. Not to be confused with probiotics, prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that your body can’t digest. These plant fibers pass through your system and feed the good bacteria in your gut, aiding in digestive health. Asparagus is also a great source of folate, antioxidants, and vitamins A and K.
We wanted to create a recipe to match the moody spring weather in Montana. This Asparagus Carbonara is equally refreshing and comforting. It’s humble yet impressive. It’s the perfect quick and easy comfort food for a late spring storm. It’s also lovely to enjoy outside on a warm day with a glass of wine and some friends.
If you are not an asparagus aficionado, we’ve got you covered with some prep tips below:
Remove the tough woody stalks. The bottom portion of asparagus stalks are woody and tough. The good news is that this part is easy to remove. Just bend the asparagus spears and the woody portion will snap right off.
Don’t overcook your spears. Both thick and thin stalks are best enjoyed al dente. Start checking your spears after 3 minutes of cooking and test them every few minutes until they are just fork tender.
Season simply. Asparagus tastes best when dressed simply. A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper should do the trick. Once it’s done cooking, top it with a little squeeze of lemon and some parmesan cheese.
The raw eggs in this recipe are essentially cooked by tossing with hot pasta.
Tracee Hume is a Bozeman-based Communications Coordinator for Abundant Montana. She loves making a mess in her kitchen, but doesn’t love cleaning it up. Send her your favorite recipes at [email protected]!