Healthy Cook

Smart Asparagus

by Kate Sherwood, April 2014

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My favorite way to cook asparagus is to toss with a bit of olive oil, then grill or broil until the spears are warm and charred in spots but still crunchy. But the versatile vegetable also provides the perfect canvas for intense toppings like these three.

Asparagus with Pistachio and Lemon

Serves 4 | Total time: 10 minutes.

To trim thicker asparagus spears, just bend the stem ends until they snap off.

extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs.
clove garlic, minced
1
chopped pistachios
1/4 cup
asparagus
1 lb.
fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs.
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt
1/8 tsp.

In a small sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat until just hot. Sauté the garlic until it starts to color, about 1 minute. • Stir in the pistachios and remove from the heat. • Steam the asparagus until bright green and tender but still crisp, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. • Stir the lemon juice into the pan with the pistachios. Pour over the asparagus and season with black pepper to taste and up to 1/8 tsp. of salt.

PER SERVING

  • Calories: 110
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Sat Fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sodium: 60 mg

Asparagus with Goat Cheese & Dill Sauce

Serves 4 | Total time: 10 minutes.

Prefer something milder than goat cheese? Try whipped cream cheese.

goat cheese (about 1/4 cup) crumbled
1 oz.
mayonnaise
1 Tbs.
fresh lemon juice
1 tsp.
minced fresh dill
2 Tbs.
asparagus
1 lb.
freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the goat cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dill with 1 Tbs. of hot water until it forms a smooth sauce. • Steam the asparagus until bright green and tender but still crisp, 2-3 minutes. • Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with the sauce. Season with black pepper.

PER SERVING

  • Calories: 80
  • Total Fat: 4.5 g
  • Sat Fat: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 50 mg

Asparagus with Shallot Marmalade

Serves 4 | Total Time: 15 minutes

The savory and slightly tart marmalade also makes a great topping for vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower or for cooked chicken or fish.

extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs.
minced shallot or red onion
1 cup
whole-grain dijon mustard
1 tsp.
reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp.
balsamic vinegar
1 tsp.
asparagus, trimmed
1 lb.

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the mustard, soy sauce, and vinegar and remove from the heat. • Steam the asparagus until bright green and tender but still crisp, 2-3 minutes. • Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with the shallot marmalade.

PER SERVING

  • Calories: 120
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Sat Fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 120 mg

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