At the Farmers Market: Asparagus

The following Family and Consumer Science article printed in the May 4, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

Farmers Market Asparagus

Oldham County farmers markets are opening for the 2017 season. Asparagus is one of the early-season crops many of our local vendors will have available.

Harvested during April and May in Kentucky, asparagus is a nutrient-dense vegetable that you can eat raw, lightly boiled, steamed, stir-fried or grilled. It can be seasoned with herbs, butter, or Parmesan cheese to enhance its flavor. As you will see in the Plate It Up Kentucky Proud recipe below, it can also be an integral ingredient in many dishes.

Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. A half-cup serving of fresh asparagus (about six stalks) contains 22 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 4 grams of carbohydrates.

When shopping for asparagus at the market, look for bright green stalks with tightly closed tips. The most tender ones are apple green in color with purple-tinged tips. A pound of asparagus will make four, one-half cup servings. It will keep a week or two in the refrigerator when kept upright with cut ends resting in water. You can also store asparagus in the refrigerator with cut ends wrapped in wet paper towels inside a plastic bag.

Contact Chris Duncan, Oldham County Family and Consumer Science Agent, at (502) 222-9453 or crivera@uky.edu for more information on ways to prepare in-season produce. On the Oldham County Extension website, you can find more healthy recipes or find a market near you.

healthy asparagus recipe

Asparagus Ham Quiche

Healthy Recipe

Yield: 16 slices

Asparagus Ham Quiche Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into half-inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped ham
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 2 (8-inch) unbaked pie shells
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 container (5.3 ounces) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Asparagus Ham Quiche Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about four to six minutes. Drain and cool.

Place ham and onion in a nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Brush pie shells with beaten egg white. Spoon the ham, onion and asparagus into pie shells, dividing evenly between the two shells. Sprinkle one cup shredded cheese over the mixture in each shell.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, yogurt, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the top of the cheese, dividing evenly between the two shells.

Bake uncovered in a 400-degree preheated oven until firm 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool approximately 20 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional Analysis: 200 calories, 11 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 10 g protein

healthy asparagus recipe

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Assistant Extension Professor in Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

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