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By John Houser III, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2012
Overcooking is what kills asparagus for most people. Memories of gray, limp and pungent spears follow wary eaters like ghosts from a nightmare. But when treated right, asparagus is a versatile and complex vegetable. Its flavor profile can switch from green and grassy to sweet and nutty just depending on how it's cooked. That's why so many chefs love to put this "grande dame of spring" on their menus. Ben Simpkins, the executive chef at Richardson Farms in White Marsh, makes an asparagus "cappuccino," in which a cup half-filled with hot asparagus soup is topped with cold asparagus foam made by shooting the cold soup through a whipped-cream gun. "I love asparagus, and this is my favorite dish," says Simpkins.
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FEATURES
By Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
At The Arthouse in Hampden, Chef Jordi Miller uses simple ingredients to create pizzas and pastas that are fresh, creative and delicious. Here, she makes the most of Maryland crabmeat and asparagus, combining them with fresh pappardelle and a mustardy cream sauce. Instead of making your own pasta, you can substitute your favorite store-bought brand. But for adventurous home cooks, the paper-thin pappardelle will require a pasta roller. “Cheap ones start at around $20 and will suit your purposes,” says Miller.
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HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker | February 14, 2012
This week's recipe is from Weight Watchers. Seems like a good recipe to make in a big batch and eat on all week. I know I love leftovers for lunch. If you have a healthy recipe you'd like to share please e-mail me at andrea.walker@baltsun.com .  1 pound uncooked asparagus, trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces 12 oz uncooked whole wheat penne pasta 1 cup fresh tomatos chopped 2 Tbs chopped, fresh parsley 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar 3 slices uncooked reduced fat bacon cut into small pieces 2 large eggs beaten 1/2 tsp table salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 Tbs reduced-fat sour cream 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Instructions: Boil asparagus in a large pot of water for 2 minutes.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2014
I found a shiny green bug in my yard, and I'm afraid it is the emerald ash borer that is killing ash trees in Maryland. What should I do about my ash tree? The emerald ash borer beetle is rarely seen. It's about 1/2-inch long with a tapering silhouette. Recently, many people are confusing them with green tiger beetles. This voracious predator of other insects is 1/2- to 3/4-inch long, with an abdomen wider than the head and thorax and six white spots on the abdomen - a good guy in your landscape, though its powerful jaws can nip. For guidance on identifying emerald ash borers and symptoms, observing the quarantine on ash wood, and deciding on treatment of a valuable ash tree, go to extension.umd.edu/hgic/invasives/emerald-ash-borer . I'd been watering my new dogwood for 45 minutes a day like I was told to do, but I forgot the hose one day and watered for 50 minutes.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2014
If you were a 19th-century Frenchman, you would likely be served three courses of asparagus during your prenuptial dinner. The vegetable with the suggestive shape, writes Helen Yoest in "Plants with Benefits," was thought to stir amorous feeling. Little did the French know then, confides Yoest, the author of a book on aphrodisiac plants, but asparagus is rich in folic acid, which boosts histamine production — which helps on wedding nights. The benefits of asparagus, she writes, "seem to be in that gray area between actual aphrodisiac effects and the power of suggestion.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2012
See some asparagus, snap it. See some peas, shoot them. When you're out at the farmers market this weekend, take some photographs and send them to us. That way, we can all follow the growing season in real time. Even better, we can look back next year and see what came when. You can upload your photographs from your a hard drive of directly from Facebook here. There's room for you to give caption information telling us where and when you snapped your beautiful images.
NEWS
Kit Waskom Pollard | April 25, 2014
In Maryland, one true harbinger of spring is fresh local asparagus. At Mountain Branch Grille & Pub, executive chef Lee Glanville pairs crunchy grilled stalks of the vegetable with seared scallops, bright corn relish and a smoky and savory tomato vinaigrette. The result is a riot of colors and flavors celebrating the return of spring. SEARED SCALLOPS WITH ASPARAGUS, CORN RELISH AND SMOKED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE Serves four Scallops and asparagus: 12 U/10 dry pack diver scallops Salt and pepper to taste 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 20 large asparagus spears, trimmed for grilling 2 cups corn relish 1 cup smoked tomato vinaigrette 1. Prepare grill to cook over high heat.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rob Kasper, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2010
Asparagus is the early star of our farmers' markets. It will appear in abundance at the Baltimore Farmers' Market, which opens for the season Sunday. Asparagus is also the central player this week in a new Sun feature we're inviting you to participate in, called the Farmers' Market Challenge. The idea is to cook a dish that uses local ingredients sold in farmers' markets. In the weeks to come, we will publish recipes from readers who have met this challenge. You can upload yours at baltimoresun.
NEWS
By Erica Marcus and Erica Marcus,Newsday | May 16, 2007
On a recent afternoon spent food shopping and cooking with my dad, he asked me some really good questions. Two of them were: Why did you shake that bag of frozen peas? And why did you cut the ends of the asparagus when we got home? I shook the bag of peas to discern its shipping history. Back in the olden days, peas and other vegetables were frozen into a block of ice, but now the industry standard is for IQF, or individually quick freezing. IQF peas are placed on a conveyor belt and then rolled into a very cold chamber, where they are instantly frozen while still remaining separate.
NEWS
By ERICA MARCUS and ERICA MARCUS,NEWSDAY | May 10, 2006
I SAW ASPARAGUS AT THE MARKET THE OTHER DAY FOR $1.69 A POUND, BUT WAS STILL NERVOUS ABOUT BUYING IT BECAUSE I NEVER KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT. HELP. A successful asparagus dish really begins at the market. Look for spears that are bright green and firm, the peel smooth and free of dents and bruises. The buds at the tip should be tightly closed. A long-standing debate rages over whether thick or thin asparagus has the best flavor. I'm not convinced either has the edge. More important than thick or thin, however, is that all of the asparagus spears are of the same thickness, otherwise they will not cook evenly.
NEWS
Kit Waskom Pollard | April 25, 2014
In Maryland, one true harbinger of spring is fresh local asparagus. At Mountain Branch Grille & Pub, executive chef Lee Glanville pairs crunchy grilled stalks of the vegetable with seared scallops, bright corn relish and a smoky and savory tomato vinaigrette. The result is a riot of colors and flavors celebrating the return of spring. SEARED SCALLOPS WITH ASPARAGUS, CORN RELISH AND SMOKED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE Serves four Scallops and asparagus: 12 U/10 dry pack diver scallops Salt and pepper to taste 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 20 large asparagus spears, trimmed for grilling 2 cups corn relish 1 cup smoked tomato vinaigrette 1. Prepare grill to cook over high heat.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2014
If you were a 19th-century Frenchman, you would likely be served three courses of asparagus during your prenuptial dinner. The vegetable with the suggestive shape, writes Helen Yoest in "Plants with Benefits," was thought to stir amorous feeling. Little did the French know then, confides Yoest, the author of a book on aphrodisiac plants, but asparagus is rich in folic acid, which boosts histamine production — which helps on wedding nights. The benefits of asparagus, she writes, "seem to be in that gray area between actual aphrodisiac effects and the power of suggestion.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Houser III, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2012
Overcooking is what kills asparagus for most people. Memories of gray, limp and pungent spears follow wary eaters like ghosts from a nightmare. But when treated right, asparagus is a versatile and complex vegetable. Its flavor profile can switch from green and grassy to sweet and nutty just depending on how it's cooked. That's why so many chefs love to put this "grande dame of spring" on their menus. Ben Simpkins, the executive chef at Richardson Farms in White Marsh, makes an asparagus "cappuccino," in which a cup half-filled with hot asparagus soup is topped with cold asparagus foam made by shooting the cold soup through a whipped-cream gun. "I love asparagus, and this is my favorite dish," says Simpkins.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2012
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis says that her mother would make frittatas, the Italian egg dish, with whatever leftovers she had in the refrigerator. " That was the joke," she tells viewers in segment of her cooking show. "What's in the frittata today, Mama?" What better dish to serve Mom on Mother's Day? A frittata is quick and easy, and the kids can help. As a bonus, Mom wakes to a clean fridge. An omelet without the fold and a quiche without the crust, the frittata has its own selling points: It can be sliced and eaten, hot or cold, with a fork or fingers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2012
See some asparagus, snap it. See some peas, shoot them. When you're out at the farmers market this weekend, take some photographs and send them to us. That way, we can all follow the growing season in real time. Even better, we can look back next year and see what came when. You can upload your photographs from your a hard drive of directly from Facebook here. There's room for you to give caption information telling us where and when you snapped your beautiful images.
HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker | February 14, 2012
This week's recipe is from Weight Watchers. Seems like a good recipe to make in a big batch and eat on all week. I know I love leftovers for lunch. If you have a healthy recipe you'd like to share please e-mail me at andrea.walker@baltsun.com .  1 pound uncooked asparagus, trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces 12 oz uncooked whole wheat penne pasta 1 cup fresh tomatos chopped 2 Tbs chopped, fresh parsley 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar 3 slices uncooked reduced fat bacon cut into small pieces 2 large eggs beaten 1/2 tsp table salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 Tbs reduced-fat sour cream 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese Instructions: Boil asparagus in a large pot of water for 2 minutes.
NEWS
By ROB KASPER | April 7, 2004
I HAVE TWO issues with asparagus - growing it and cooking it. On the growing front, I have had no success. I have tried digging a trench and planting asparagus roots in it. I have taken a shot at starting asparagus from seed. I have nurtured the prospective asparagus patch, feeding it the finest, very natural and very aromatic fertilizers. I have covered it with a blanket of leaves in the fall. I have displayed the patience of a major-league pitching coach, waiting three full years for things to come to fruition.
NEWS
By Rob Kasper | March 3, 2002
Usually I don't get excited about asparagus until late March. Then all the full-color photographs, provocative poses and saucy recipes of the bright green stalks get my juices flowing. It happens every spring, routinely. But this year it happened several weeks early. It might have been the unseasonably mild, if dry, weather. The past few weeks have felt more like spring than winter. Forsythia is blooming, crocus flowers are pushing through the crusty ground, and more often than not I have found myself wearing a light jacket rather than a heavy coat.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Lindner, Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2010
The client's in town. The client loves sushi. I want the client to love me. I take the client to Joss Cafe. I pick up the tab. Done deal. You can replace "client" with out-of-town guest, superior officer, love interest, fellow foodie, or anyone else you want to impress, Joss promises to appeal because of two strong leading indicators: fine sushi, great space. Just don't go there expecting bargain-basement tabs. When you walk up half a flight of stairs off the sidewalk on 413 N. Charles and enter Joss, you're stepping up in more ways than one. 12:42 p.m. We enter a sparsely attended dining room and are offered our choice of unoccupied tables.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rob Kasper, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2010
Asparagus is the early star of our farmers' markets. It will appear in abundance at the Baltimore Farmers' Market, which opens for the season Sunday. Asparagus is also the central player this week in a new Sun feature we're inviting you to participate in, called the Farmers' Market Challenge. The idea is to cook a dish that uses local ingredients sold in farmers' markets. In the weeks to come, we will publish recipes from readers who have met this challenge. You can upload yours at baltimoresun.
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