At the local farmers markets here in San Diego, I am finding the biggest tastiest asparagus! Normally I just grill it and eat it as a side or as a salad topper. But I have recently been trying new recipes and I found a cool one, Asparagus Avocado
Salad! Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
The history of asparagus is pretty darn interesting. About 20,000 years ago, asparagus was eaten near Aswan in Egypt. It has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavor, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. Still in ancient times, it was known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans would even freeze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus reserved the Asparagus Fleet for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.
Al-Nafzawi’s The Perfumed Garden celebrates its aphrodisiacal power, which the Indian Ananga Ranga attributes to special phosporus elements that also counteract fatigue, and by 1469 it was cultivated in French monasteries.
Asparagus is often called the “Food of Kings.” France’s Louis XIV had special greenhouses built for growing it. The finest texture and the strongest and yet delicate taste is in the tips. The points d’amour (“love tips”) were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour.
The asparagus growing beds in Northern Italy were famous during the Renaissance period. These graceful spears have always been a sign of elegance, and in times past, were a delicacy only the wealthy could afford.
I didn’t know veggies could be considered posh! Enjoy your food of kings my friends.
Asparagus and Avocado Salad
- 4 or 5 thick asparagus spears
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
- 16 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of fluer de sel (or fine sea salt) per serving
Cut away about 2 inches of the base of each asparagus spear. With a vegetable peeler, shave the entire asparagus from bottom to top, reversing your grip and rotating as necessary to shave as much as possible. Don’t rush it; be deliberate for the greatest precision.
Divide the asparagus strips among 4 salad plates. Cut each avocado half into 4 sections and place 2 wedges on each salad. Sprinkle with the mint leaves. Squeeze lime juice over the salads, drizzle evenly with the oil, and sprinkle with salt.
Thanks to epicurious.com for this recipe