Asparagus Olive Oil Garlic

I love asparagus and there are so many recipes out there, but this simple asparagus olive oil garlic recipe tops my list.  If you love asparagus,  sometimes you just want to enjoy a side of this wonderful vegetable without meat or other veggies fighting for top ranking.

asparagusSure I also love a casserole with asparagus or maybe a soup, but asparagus is such a tender, delicate vegetable with its own unique flavor that, for me, needs to be served by itself….well, most of the time.

A couple years ago, I was shopping for herbs and saw several asparagus plants.  I had to buy them.  To my surprise, I haven’t killed them yet.

They have a very feathery foliage and I didn’t know if I would ever see little shoots poking through the dirt, but just a couple months ago I had 2 little sprigs pop up.  I was so excited to see them.  If they make it through the winter, I’m hoping to get enough for at least 1 serving.  Ha!

Call to ActionMy husband is from Wisconsin, and he said when he was young, it would grow wild along the side of the country roads and they’d stop to pick it.  I would be out scouting for it regularly.


asparagus plant


Asparagus | History and Nutrition

Asparagus has been found to be eaten as far back as 3000 B.C. in Egypt, Syria, Spain, Greece, and Italy.  It was cultivated in France in the mid 1400’s and later in the 1500’s to England and Germany.  Asparagus finally found its way to the United States in the mid 1800’s.

The earliest notes state that it was used as a diuretic.  It’s also a good source of Vitamins K, A, C, folate, potassium and high in antioxidants.  Asparagus is also an anti-inflammatory and is high in fiber, therefore, making it a natural laxative.

And, believe it or not, there was a study done in South Korea that found asparagus could help cure hangovers.

Many people associate asparagus with a strong urine odor.  No studies I found determined the exact cause of this odor, and although it appears within 15-30 minutes after consuming asparagus, it is usually gone by the next day.

asparagus berries



I did learn that when the asparagus plant flowers, it will produce a red berry.  This berry is poisonous.  I’m glad I found this out since I have a few plants.




Approximate daily recommendations for 1 cup raw asparagus:

  • 69% Vitamin K
  • 20% Vitamin A
  • 17% Folate
  • 16% Iron
  • 12% Vitamin C
  • 12% Vitamin B1
  • 12% Copper
  • 12% Tryptophan
  • 11% Vitamin B2
  • 10% Fiber
  • 10% Manganese

Asparagus | Selection and Storage

green white purpleWhether you buy green, white, or purple asparagus, they should be fresh with no signs of wilting and the flower tips should be closed.  They should be crisp and snap when bent.

Store in the refrigerator.  They can either be wrapped with a damp paper towel or standing upright in a container with about 1″ of water.  Use within a couple days.


Asparagus Olive Oil Garlic | Recipe

1 lb. (bunch) asparagus
2 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper
lemon juice (optional)

Yep, that’s it.  So simple.

asparagus oil garlicWash and drain asparagus.  Either use the snap technique to trim the woody bottom of the stems or chop the bottom of the stems with a knife.

Using the snap technique, try to snap as close to the end of the stem as possible.  It will only snap above the woody end and that’s what you want.

I usually chop the ends because I feel like I’m wasting too much of the stem, but you have to be careful to let the knife fall lightly and test the texture of the stem before actually cutting.  The knife will go through the stem very easily once above the woody section.

Crush, slice thinly, or chop the garlic clove and mix with the olive oil.  Mix and let sit for a few minutes or so.

drizzle oil garlicDrizzle olive oil garlic mixture over asparagus in a microwave safe dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid or paper towel.

Microwave on high for 1-1/2 minutes.  Toss asparagus spears and microwave another 1 minute.

Squeeze some lemon juice over asparagus, if desired, and serve.

asparagus olive oil garlic

Just plain asparagus olive oil garlic with a splash of lemon is one of my favorite vegetables.  And it’s OK to eat it with your fingers.  That’s acceptable etiquette….I read that somewhere many years ago.



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About Sylvia Smith

The Culinary Cucumber hopes to share some easy, quick, and inexpensive recipes. Please share your thoughts and suggestions. You can also join me on GooglePlus! Sylvia On Google+

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