April 2, 2012

Countdown to Easter: Part 2

Pin It
Margaret's Morsels | Asparagus Bundles


Spring announces its arrival in many ways:  trees start budding; flowers burst into colorful blooms; pollen appears on surfaces; people with allergies start sneezing.  I know spring has sprung when I see asparagus, the quintessential spring vegetable, in the grocery store.

Fresh asparagus is in season from March -- in time for Easter -- until June. When choosing asparagus, look for stems that are crisp with tight tips that are green or purple.  Asparagus is best used within a day or two of purchase.

Just like cranberries, I'm a late in life asparagus lover.  I never liked asparagus but, to prove a point to my son, tried it again when it came with an entree I ordered at a restaurant.  Much to my surprise, I loved it and have started looking for asparagus recipes to add to my recipe box.

The recipes I found using fresh asparagus were either grilled -- like I had in the restaurant -- or cooked with a sauce.  Since I liked the grilled asparagus, I decided to see how I liked asparagus cooked with a sauce.

A lot of the recipes I found called for wrapping bundles of asparagus with bacon.  This reminded me of the recipe I posted for green bean bundles. I decided to adapt that recipe using fresh asparagus.  In order for the recipe to work properly, I had to alter the proportions and technique.

Rinse the asparagus in cold water and pat dry.  Bend the bottom of one piece of asparagus until it breaks.  This break is the dividing point between the tender and tough portion of the stalk.


Margaret's Morsels | Asparagus Bundles


Use this stalk as a guide to trim all the remaining asparagus to the same length.


Margaret's Morsels | Asparagus Bundles

The asparagus cooks in half the time of the green beans.  Due to the shorter cooking time, the bacon might not be fully cooked when the asparagus is done.  To solve this potential problem, I cook the bacon strips in the microwave for three minutes.  This doesn't fully cook the bacon -- it's still pliable and easy to wrap around the asparagus -- but it gives it a head start.


Margaret's Morsels | Asparagus Bundles
Bacon that was cooked for three
minutes in the microwave.

I wrap the bacon around the spears in a spiral so it covers more surface area.  You can wrap the bacon closer together if you prefer.


Margaret's Morsels | Asparagus Bundles


I had to increase the rest of the ingredients to make enough sauce. Instead of sprinkling the ingredients on the asparagus, I combine everything in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.  That way, the sauce is heated through by the time the asparagus is done.


Margaret's Morsels | Asparagus Bundles


Pour the sauce over the asparagus bundles and bake 20 to 25 minutes, basting every 10 minutes.  Don't overcook the asparagus or it will be limp. The bundles are best served as soon as they're removed from the oven. The leftovers don't do good reheated so I only prepare as many as I need for each meal.

The point I made to my son that night was to try food you don't like because tastes change over time.  Asparagus will never be my favorite vegetable, but it's definitely one I'll eat again.  Now that I've found an asparagus recipe that uses sauce, I need to find a good recipe for grilled asparagus.
Asparagus Bundles
8 Servings

1 lb. fresh asparagus, rinsed and patted dry
bacon (one slice per bundle), partially cooked
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400°.  Bend the bottom of one piece of asparagus until it breaks.  Use this as a guide to trim all the remaining asparagus to the same length.  Divide the asparagus into equal bundles.  Wrap one partially cooked bacon slice around each asparagus bundle.  Set the bundles into a greased baking dish.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended.  Pour the mixture over the bundles. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until done.


© Margaret's Morsels



18 comments:

  1. This sounds really good and perfect to make for Easter.
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie! I appreciate you hosting the party. I hope you have a good week.

      Delete
  2. This sounds so yummy! I've always wanted to try to make them! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Jess! Asparagus will never be my favorite vegetable, but it sure is tasty fixed this way! Thank you for hosting the party.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These look so good! Cant' wait to try them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! As one of my sons would say, "Bacon makes everything better!" I hope you enjoy the recipe.

      Delete
  5. I am not a fan of asparagus. However, my husband and daughter love it. I bet with this recipe even I would like it. Thank you for linking up to Tips and Tricks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a big fan of asparagus, but I find it palatable prepared this way! Thanks for hosting the party. I hope you have a good week!

      Delete
  6. Love this asparagus thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Swathi! Thanks for hosting, pinning and tweeting! I hope you have a good week.

      Delete
  7. You had me at bacon! Thanks for adding this to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!

    Shellie
    www.thefabjourney.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shellie! Bacon makes everything better, including asparagus! Thanks for hosting the party. I hope you have a good week.

      Delete
  8. Now this is a veggie I might actually get my husband to eat! Thanks for linking up to TOO Cute Tuesday! Pinned it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kyla! I hope your husband likes the recipe. Thanks for hosting and pinning! I hope you have a good week.

      Delete
  9. This looks delicious! Looking forward to seeing you again at Full Plate Thursday tonight!
    Hope you are having a great day!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Miz Helen! Thanks for hosting the party. I hope you have a good week.

      Delete
  10. These look as delicious as they are pretty! Featuring you when my link party opens tonight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carol, for the compliment and for featuring these at your party! Thanks for hosting the party every week. I can imagine how much work must be involved. I hope you have a good week!

      Delete