In Season: Asparagus

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It’s finally spring and I’m so excited to greet some favorite produce again at the farmer’s market! I’ve already gone through 2 bunches of asaparagus in the last week and a half and I’m anxiously awaiting ripe local strawberries. The other day someone left a large bag labeled “free lemons” at work, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a small mountain of Meyer lemons inside. I brought several home and immediately began planning dinner around them and my current favorite green vegetable.

I came up with a healthy and easy pasta dish that can be easily made vegetarian by omitting the chicken. Whole wheat pasta, steamed aparagus and chunks of chicken are coated with freshly grated Parmesan, Meyer lemon zest and juice, sour cream or yogurt, and freshly ground pepper, creating a very light cream sauce with bright notes of citrus.

An even simpler way to enjoy asparagus is to grill or roast them until fork tender with good olive oil, salt and pepper. A quick side dish that’s not only delicious, but has loads of health benefits: asparagus has high levels of folate, vitamins A and C, as well as many other antioxidants and nutrients that are anti-inflammatory, plus it is a good source of fiber.

Recipe:

Whole Wheat Pasta with Meyer Lemon & Asaparagus

  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I used rigatoni)
  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/3 C Parmesan, grated
  • 3/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package directions (when finished, reserve a cup of cooking water before you drain). Meanwhile, steam asparagus and cook chicken. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then add to skillet. Squeeze juice of 1 of the lemons over the chicken, then cook until done.

Place cooked chicken in a large bowl with the zest of both lemons and grated Parmesan. Once the asparagus is done, slice into 1″ pieces and put into bowl as well. Add cooked pasta to bowl, along with a small splash of cooking water and sour cream or yogurt. Add more sour cream or yogurt if sauce is too thin, or more pasta cooking water if sauce is too thick. Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper on top.

10 Responses to “In Season: Asparagus”
  1. Vicki @ WITK writes:

    I’m also loving the farmers market these days, so much good stuff! Great looking dish, so simple and full of flavor.

  2. Magic of Spice writes:

    I love asparagus and this pasta dish…so fresh and delicious :)

  3. Lindsey@Lindselicious writes:

    Ooh I never thought about tossing with sour cream or yogurt. This pasta dish seems so fresh and light!
    Lindsey@Lindselicious recently posted Macadamia Nut Lilikoi Ice Box Pie

  4. irena writes:

    Love the recipe, healthy and sound delicious. Lovely photo:)
    http://mywanderingspoon.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/manhattan-beach-farmers-market-homemade-carrot-soup-kumquats-bagel-shop/

  5. Andrea writes:

    Oh, yummmmmm, a healthy recipe! I love healthy! Though, I must say, it’s not quite as addicting as nutella pie.

  6. daksha writes:

    Looks yummm…. pasta with asaparagus nice aroma and healthy too.

  7. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom writes:

    Lemon and asparagus are spring flavors I always look forward to and the addition of whole wheat pasta makes it so healthy.
    Angela@RecipesFromMyMom recently posted Green bean salad

  8. Kelly writes:

    This looks soooo delicious and all the ingredients compliment each other so nicely, thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Hester Casey - Alchemy writes:

    How lovely of your colleague to leave a bag of lemons! Lemon and asparagus is one of the great foodie marriages and your gorgeous pasta simply shouts Spring Is Here!
    Hester Casey – Alchemy recently posted Lipsmacking Blarney Kisses – Mwah!

  10. egb writes:

    I love spring veggies and pasta! Yeah for spring! I love the complement of lemon with fresh veggies and your addition of sour cream is great! The creaminess would really add to the depth of flavor! Yum!

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