Time for asparagus

May 11, 2008

Asparagus with orange mayonnaise

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

Keep a few strands of the orange zest to garnish the platter.

Fill a large skillet with about 1 inch of water and bring it to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until they are bright green and crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, orange juice and orange zest.

Spoon the mayonnaise over warm or cold asparagus and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 133 calories, 3 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 257 mg sodium

Asparagus 'pesto'

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Use this bright sauce with pasta, over grilled fish or chicken, or drizzle on roasted vegetables.

Fill a skillet about 1 inch high with water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green and crisp tender, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Combine pine nuts, garlic and salt in the food processor and mince finely. Add the asparagus, lemon juice and olive oil and mince finely. Add Parmesan and run machine just to combine.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 194 calories, 5 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 18 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 114 mg sodium

Cod with asparagus-lemon sauce

1 1/2 pounds cod fillet
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the fish on the pan, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the fish just loses its translucency in the thickest part of the center, about 10 minutes.

While the fish roasts, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cut the tips off the asparagus and place them in a metal strainer. Dunk the tips in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green and crisp-tender. Rinse them under cold water.

Place the asparagus stems directly in the boiling water and cook until tender, 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain and puree the stems with the lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add salt as needed. Stir in the lemon zest and asparagus tips.

Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 228 calories, 33 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 400 mg sodium

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