Healthy Living: Get a Taste of Spring with Asparagus!

The Morning Show

Fresh vegetables and fruits are brightening up local farmers’ markets. For asparagus, late spring and early summer is when it grows locally and tends to taste the best!

Beth Peralta, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with University of Illinois Extension & Media Spokesperson with the Eastern Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a great recipe to share highlighting a spring favorite vegetable – asparagus!

Asparagus selection, storage, and prep

· Look for asparagus bunches that are firm, not wilted. Make sure that the asparagus tips are firm and not mushy or damaged.

· Store asparagus in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days in a plastic bag. You can also store it standing upright in a jar or cup with a few inches of water at the bottom. Cover the tops with a plastic bag.

· Preparing asparagus for cooking is easy! Snap off the wood-like ends and rinse the asparagus under cool water. Pat dry with a clean towel.

· Asparagus is a good source of both vitamins A and C, and fat and sodium (salt) free!

Roasted Dijon Asparagus

· 1 pound fresh asparagus

· 1 tablespoon olive oil

· 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

· 1/2 tablespoon Dijon style mustard

· 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

· 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

· 1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced

· 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

· 2 tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Wash asparagus. Bend each spear until the woody bottom end snaps off naturally. Reserve tops of spears.

3. In a bowl, toss oil with asparagus. Spread into an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake at 400°F for 5-10 minutes or until spears are slightly brown.

5. Whisk together red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, thyme, oregano, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl.

6. Remove asparagus from the oven and pour vinegar mixture over top.

7. Sprinkle cooked asparagus evenly with feta cheese.

More recipes can be found at University of Illinois Extension’s Eat.Move.Save. website: https://go.illinois.edu/EatMoveSave

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