Asparagus!

I love asparagus, not just because it’s delicious and has lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  I love it, because it’s perennial.  No matter how long and cold the winter has been, that dutiful spring vegetable is one of the first signs of life in my kitchen garden every year.  And, is it ever welcome!  However, I must admit that I owe its presence entirely to my dear dad.

My dad is the most talented and diligent gardener I know, producing picture-perfect vegetable gardens with enough corn, squash, beans, and tomatoes to feed a small country.  He started this little asparagus patch a few years before I moved back home.  He was gardening on the very same spot that my great-grandfather and grandfather used years ago.  Dad really liked this particular area as it has about a foot of premium topsoil.  So, I have to say that he wasn’t overly excited when I requested that he relinquish it so that I could start my own inferior, little garden.  He impressed upon me that I needed to take “good care” of the asparagus patch, because it was “QUITE an endeavor” to get it established:  first, a trench is dug deeply enough to protect the root system of the plant during the winter months; second, it must be kept clean–no weeds; third, don’t cut foliage down until after first frost (necessary for photosynthesis for next year’s crop); fourth, fertilize annually; and last, it takes about three years before harvesting a substantial crop.

After imparting this information, Dad graciously, although reluctantly, left me to my own devices regarding the asparagus patch.  My patch of asparagus may not be as perfect and productive as Dad’s new patch, which by the way is 30 feet long; however, it’s still producing enough lovely asparagus that I was able to pick a mess–what we Southerners refer to as enough for dinner.  With this mess of asparagus, I prepared the following simple and delicious pasta dish.

Penne Pasta with Asparagus, Peas, and Shrimp:

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 cups of penne pasta ( I used quinoa pasta)

2 cups of sliced asparagus ( 2 inch slices)

1 cup of peas

10-12 medium shrimp (tails removed)

4 pinches of sea salt added to pasta water

1-2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil

feta and parmesan cheeses to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Using a medium pot, add six cups of water and four pinches of sea salt.  Bring to a boil.  Add penne pasta, asparagus, and peas.  After cooking pasta, asparagus, and peas for five minutes, add shrimp and cook an additional four minutes.  Drain ingredients into a colander.  After draining, return ingredients to pot.  Toss ingredients with olive oil.  Once ingredients have been tossed with olive oil, place in serving dishes.  Sprinkle feta and parmesan cheeses and add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with a glass of Mumm Napa Brut Prestige!  Bon Appetit!

37 Comments »

  1. What a lovely, lovely post! Thank you also for posting this terrific recipe! You know, I live in this huge city, and you live in the country; I am so grateful to read about your experiences, as I find myself yearning for the country quite often. Cher 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cher! Your comment really touched me. I’m so happy you enjoyed this post. I also love your wonderful posts regarding the beautiful architecture of Chicago as well as the cultural aspects of living in a big city. Connecting with others through our blogs can be truly enriching. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful ingredients – had my mouth watering. But do you still taste the asparagus with so many other flavours fighting for dominance? Love al dente asparagus with just an hollandaise sauce …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you market the surplus or is it completely for home use- I mean, the asparagus. The pictures and the recipe are tantalizing. BTW when do you get the time to cook ? You must be so busy being a fourth generation farm girl.
    Do you replenish the top soil sometime or is it the same soil your dad bequeathed to you ?
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susie! We use most of what we grow, and sometimes we share with friends. As far as the topsoil is concerned, we add composted organic material in the fall. You asked about finding time to cook. I try to cook what’s in season, using a few simple ingredients. My “Farm Guy” helps out, too. 🙂

      Like

  4. I´m a huge asparagus fan, too. Growing up with white varieties that are more popular here in Germany, I adore the green ones as well. Your recipe sounds so good! Thanks for a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Meals With Mel and commented:
    Happy Friday Everyone!!!
    Spring is here and as the weather turns warm all I want to do is spend time in my little garden. Last year this post Asparagus!! by Fourth Generation Farm Girl inspired me to plant some asparagus in my garden. I know it will take a few years to get a harvest but some things in life are worth the wait right?
    I hope you all enjoy this post and recipe as much as I do and please check out the other posts by Tonya, the Fourth Generation Farm Girl.

    Like

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