One of my favorite vegetables! Believe it or not, there are people who have never eaten this; don’t know what they are missing.
Asparagus: Ancient Greeks and Roman used the Persian word asparag , meaning shoot. The word sparagus started being used in English speaking countries in the 16th centuries. Asparagus has been around since Ancient Egypt. Legend has it that the Egyptians thought so highly of Asparagus, they offered it to the Gods in rituals.
Asparagus is planted in the ground 3-years before it can be harvested. The season for Asparagus is about 90 days, during which it can sometimes grow 6-7″ in one day! An Asparagus plant can usually produce for 8-12 years. California produces most of the Asparagus for the United States. In fact, Stockton has an annual Asparagus Festival every year!
Asparagus can be green or white. When it comes up out of the ground, the sun turns the plant green. If white Asparagus is wanted, dirt is piled on top so the plant can grow underground. When the top starts to poke out, a special knife is used to cut the stalk under the ground. I have always wondered what the difference is, now I know!
Roasted Asparagus with Lemony Breadcrumbs
2 pounds Asparagus
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 lemon, sliced for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 18 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a platter.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice and zest. Season with salt.
Top asparagus with breadcrumbs, and garnish with lemon.