Truly, this is my one of my families favorite times of year – the days are longer and warmer, school is wrapping up for the year, and there is bountiful fresh ASPARAGUS!! When I was a kid, my family traveled every Memorial Day weekend to just outside of Atkinson to pick wild asparagus in the meadows. We would pick buckets and buckets of asparagus and then our mom’s would freeze the extra to have all winter long. Of course, we ate asparagus like crazy until we were emitting odors that no normal person could stand – if you’ve consumed your fair share of the green stuff, you know what I mean! 

These days we have a good sized patch of asparagus in our garden – enough to really feed us from now until about Memorial Day. But, my husband also has scouted out every patch of wild asparagus within a ten mile radius of us. One of the problems you sometimes run into with asparagus, especially when you buy it from the store, is that the base gets “woody” and you end up throwing away half the stalk. You don’t have to! Simple take off the tougher outer skin and cook, as usual.

Shave off the ends of the outer layer of your asparagus to make it less "woody".
Shave off the ends of the outer layer of your asparagus to make it less “woody”.

 We eat it several times a week during the peak season – so that means finding new ways to cook it! Here are two of my absolutely favorite ways to prepare asparagus – both super simple and ready in less than 15 minutes on the grill or stovetop.

 Grilled Lemon-Pepper Asparagus

 Grilled Lemon-Pepper Asparagus

All you need:

  • asparagus spears
  • fresh lemon
  • fresh ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • Aluminum foil or veggie grill pan

All you do:

  1. Clean asparagus, shave off woody stalks, as needed. Place on grill pan or foil.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over asparagus. Sprinkle with fresh lemon peel and ground pepper.
  3. Grill at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. We like ours a little crisp, so we only grill for about 5-8 minutes. 

Options:  Hy-Vee sells a wonderful lemon flavored olive oil that is fantastic with grilled vegetables! Of course, you can also use lemon-pepper seasoning, but I think that the fresh gives a better flavor.

 Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

All you need:Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

  • asparagus spears
  • Garlic & Herb flavored soft cheese (Alouette or Laughing Cow work well)
  • prosciutto (look for this in the deli meats or specialty cheeses)

All you do:

  1. Clean asparagus, shave off woody stalks, as needed.
  2. Spread Garlic flavored soft cheese onto a slice of prosciutto (we use just a half slice) and roll onto one asparagus spear.  Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
  3. Grill on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy and browned. Enjoy!

 Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped AsparagusGuess what we are having for supper tonight?!?

Shannon Frink

Shannon Frink is a registered dietitian and busy mom of two active boys. She knows the challenges of being a professional mom with the need to get a healthy, wholesome meal on the table – Quick! Shannon is the registered dietitian at Mary Lanning Heathcare Wellness department, where she has the unique opportunity to assist busy employees and community members to make healthy lifestyle choices! Shannon is Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and is an active member of the Nebraska Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and the Central Nebraska District Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition, as well as, a volunteer in the community. Shannon enjoys following her kids many activities, camping, biking, skiing with her family, trying new recipes, and participating in fitness classes and leagues.