Craig and I went to Eastern Market in Detroit Saturday morning and asparagus was the buy of the day. I didn’t have any specific items in mind to purchase; I like to buy what is in season, what looks great or what is a great buy. Have you ever bought mushrooms just because they were perfect? I bought a pound of Portabella mushrooms and a pound of button mushrooms to use in a beef stew and the same vendor had asparagus for $1.00 a pound, so I bought two pounds. I walked a bit further through the market and found cases of asparagus for $8.00 (5 kg/case). I hadn’t made dill pickled asparagus for quite a while, so after purchasing 2 cases, I now have 24 pounds of asparagus and I may need to think of a few other things to make with asparagus. But, in buying all that asparagus, I didn’t keep with my plan to buy local. This asparagus is from Peru! I realize there is not much fresh produce available in Michigan in January. There certainly were Michigan grown root vegetables and apples available but not much else.
So Saturday evening, we had asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and it was amazing. I found the recipe on Epicurious and after reading many of the comments found that quite a few readers had substituted prosciutto for pancetta as they found the pancetta to be too salty. I followed the recipe as written other than that substitution and didn’t venture outdoors to grill but made the asparagus under the broiler following the alternative directions in the recipe. We enjoyed that for an appetizer but if there had been a few more we could have made a whole meal of them. Even Andrew really enjoyed them. You should try them.http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Pancetta-Wrapped-Asparagus-242596
So, the asparagus that we had with dinner was another recipe from Epicurious and it was very good, but it would be almost impossible to top the asparagus and prosciutto. So the Asparagus and thyme was very good and I would definitely make it again. The only change I made to the recipe was to toss in a few carrots I had left on the cutting board. I love to have lots of color on my plate. Here is the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pan-Roasted-Asparagus-with-Thyme-241893
I couldn’t think if a thing to make for dessert with asparagus so we went without. Then Sunday afternoon I got to work on the dill pickled asparagus. With the stalks that were a little too long to fit in the canning jars, I tossed them into a stock pot with a bit of chicken stock and cream of asparagus soup will be next. Andrew flew back to Indianapolis then on to Indiana University in Bloomington this afternoon. Craig is a bit nervous that it is just he and I and all that asparagus. Andrew opted not to take any asparagus back with him in his backpack with the excuse that he wasn’t sure he could get through security with it.