Springtime’s star veggie—it’s in season from February until June—is both versatile and tasty. Boil it, braise it, puree it, or just grill it and enjoy. In honor of National Asparagus Month (yup, that’s a thing), we've harvested a collection of the best dishes to pair with the flavorful spears.
1. RAVIOLI PIE
Bake the green veggie into a pie. Well, sort of. Better Homes and Gardens suggests combining blanched asparagus spears and pre-cooked store-bought chicken ravioli in a pie plate and adding a garlic butter sauce made with parmesan and lemon zest. Then, bake until bubbly and enjoy.
What doesn’t taste good when wrapped in bacon? TV chef Rachael Ray wraps bundles of the stalks with center cut bacon or pancetta. Lightly coat with olive oil, then grill and you’ll be biting into crispy pork and greens in 15 minutes.
3. HAM AND CHEESE
French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, known for his Michelin-starred namesake restaurant, borrowed this dish from his mom. Growing up, he recalls, his mother would purchase white asparagus—renowned in his hometown of Alsace, France—to make asparagus and ham gratin. This dish involves ham-wrapped asparagus bundles covered in a butter sauce and sprinkled with Gruyére cheese.
Serve up a steaming plate of delicious carbs with a recipe from Food Network chef Alton Brown. The Good Eats host cooks onions with Arborio rice, pours in white wine and chicken broth, then tops it all off with 12 ounces of wild mushrooms and asparagus. Serve as a side or even as a main course.
For Italian chef Fabio Viviani, the stalks are the perfect topper for his tuna steak carpaccio dish. The Top Chef competitor drizzles raw, thinly sliced tuna with miso dressing, and then tops them with butter-poached asparagus. The dish makes for a perfect light, delicious appetizer.
Get your fix of greens with this dish dreamt up by Bobby Flay. The celebrity chef tosses a pound of grilled asparagus with mesclun, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, kalamata olives, and cubes of sharp white cheddar, then drizzles it all with homemade dressing for a fresh and colorful salad.
To give a standard chicken-and-asparagus dinner a twist, steal a page from Cat Cora’s cookbook. The Iron Chef star spoons tangy feta salsa, made with parsley, basil, garlic, vinegar and oil, over crispy grilled asparagus and chicken.
This quick and easy soup is a puree of onion, asparagus, peas, tarragon, and heavy cream created by Top Chef finalist Carla Hall, and is served with a side of Parmesan shortbread coins. The Chew cohost swears, “Both are dead simple to make.”
British food writer Nigel Slater makes an incredibly easy asparagus stew by simmering lamb cubes, sliced shallots (or onions), and asparagus in stock and white wine. The delicious final touch: a dollop of crème fraîche and some chervil leaves.
In 30 minutes, you can whip up this Martha Stewart-approved meal. Cook linguine or fettuccine with halved asparagus, toss with butter and Parmesan, and top with a poached egg.
All images via iStock.