THE DISH ON EATING LOCAL ASPARAGUS
3 ways you can enjoy discovering local asparagus in your area!
1. Find Asparagus at your Local Market
Not only is eating local asparagus good for you, they are also good for the environment and your community! According to Local First Arizona Foundation, “Local food purchased in season and directly from a producer through CSAs, farmers markets, or cooperatives can be less expensive than its out-of-state counterparts. If it’s on sale locally, you know it’s in season and at the peak of ripeness.”
You can find asparagus all across Arizona. Here are some of the local farmers markets where you can find asparagus in your area, and contribute to growing your vibrant community!
2. Eat Asparagus at your Local Restaurant
Many local restaurants endorse sourcing out some of the best ingredients, but do they use local ingredients? Here is one such restaurant we have discovered that uses local asparagus in this wonderful dish by Chef de Cuisine George Murkowicz called Asparagus Gnocchi with Variations of Asparagus. Below is the information to find out more on this location and restaurant.
Our mission is to SHIFT the mentality of the “normal” dining experience. We are an American shared plates restaurant where food is meant to be enjoyed in a family style manner.
Pastry Chef and owner, Dara Wong Rodger, hopes to challenge locals and travelers alike to look beyond what they might consider typical “mountain town” food. Shift aims to focus on bold flavors, a locally driven menu, and artfully composed plates served up amidst a casual and approachable ambiance.
We opened April 1, 2016
107 North San Francisco St, Ste.2
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
To find more local restaurants sourcing local ingredients click here!
Recipes change all the time and viewers should check with all restaurants to find out what’s on the menu currently.
3. Learn a Recipe to Make it Yourself
Want to discover how to make this local asparagus dish? Watch the video on just how easy it is to bring Farm to your table.
Serving Size: 4
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Chef George Murkowicz's Asparagus Gnocchi with Variations of Asparagus
- 1 cup asparagus water
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ¾ tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 whole eggs
- Combine asparagus water, butter and salt.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add all the flour at once and, with a wooden spoon, stir rapidly (about 5 minutes) until a slight film forms on the bottom of the pot, and the dough forms into a ball.
- Transfer dough to a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
- Add mustard and parmesan cheese.
- Mixing on medium low speed, combine eggs one at a time, only adding a new egg after the other is fully combined.
- Once dough forms, remove and place into piping bag.
- Allow to rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
For asparagus water:
- 5 stalks raw asparagus (woody bottoms removed)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine raw asparagus and water in blender with salt.
- Puree on high.
- Pass through fine mesh sieve and reserve.
For asparagus cream:
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ bunch standard asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (bottoms peeled off)
- Sweat shallot in olive oil on medium low heat until translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add wine, reduce by ¾ volume.
- Add cream to pot, reduce on medium low heat about halfway (about 10 minutes).
- Once reduced, add asparagus, continue to reduce mixture until asparagus is tender.
- Transfer cream sauce to blender, puree until smooth.
- Pass cream through fine mesh sieve and reserve for later.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Bring large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.
- Cut the bottom of the piping bag, leaving a ¾-inch hole.
- Lightly dust working space with flour.
- Piping in a fluid motion, pipe the mixture into 4 even rows.
- Cut ropes into pieces about 1 inch in length and transfer to a floured pan.
- Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until they rise to the top and float for 45 seconds.
- Remove to ice water to stop cooking.
- In frying pan, bring butter up to a simmer.
- And gnocchi to pan, lightly fry until golden brown on the outside.
- Deglaze pan with white wine, reduce by half.
- Add asparagus cream.
- Toss to coat all pieces, add the juice of 1 lemon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in 4 serving bowls.
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese
- 3 stalks raw asparagus, shaved lengthwise and held in ice water
- 3 stalks charred asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Olive oil
- Grate fresh parmesan cheese on top of each bowl.
- Dress the raw shaved asparagus with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Divide evenly on top of bowls.
- Dress charred asparagus with salt and pepper. Combine evenly between bowls.
- Top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil.
THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF ASPARAGUS
Want to know more about local asparagus?
Everyone knows that asparagus makes your pee smell, but do you know how good asparagus is for you? Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, selenium, vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B3, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. Asparagus improves cardiovascular health, improves fertility, provides relief from pre-menstrual syndrome, and improves bone health. They help with everything from cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases to hangovers and urinary tract infections.
Asparagus originated in Europe, North Africa, and west Asia. It was very popular in ancient Egypt and is depicted in some paintings on the walls of many tombs. They even dubbed it the ‘king of vegetables.’ King Louis XIV counted it as his favorite type of food, who even had a special greenhouse for growing it. Asparagus has been used as a medicinal treatment dating back to the early Greeks and Romans, who used it to cure anything from a heart ailment to a toothache to a bee sting. Emperor Augustus created the ‘Asparagus Fleet’ to haul the vegetable, and coined the term ‘faster than cooking asparagus’ to describe quick action. Roman Epicureans also froze it high in the Alps for the Feast of Epicurus.
It grows in temperate climates. Asparagus can be green, white, or purple. White asparagus, also called ‘white gold,’ ‘edible ivory,’ or ‘the royal vegetable,’ grows completely under the ground which prevents the development of chlorophyll. It’s believed to be less bitter and more tender. Purple asparagus is a genetic variant. Asparagus is harvested during the spring and early summer months, but plant it well in advance – it takes nearly three years after it’s been planted to reach full maturity so that it can be harvested for the full season! Once planted, however, they can live 10-15 years. As a perennial, they’ll keep coming back year after year.
As for the smell in your urine? It turns out it’s caused by asparagusic acid, which your body converts to smelly, sulfur-containing compounds. It does this for anyone who eats asparagus, but as it turns out, not everyone can smell it, which has led some people to think incorrectly that asparagus only affects some people’s urine.
If you really want to learn more about asparagus, head to Bavaria, Germany, where you can visit the European Asparagus Museum! It’s dedicated solely to this delicious vegetable.
When buying asparagus, choose bright-green asparagus stalks with purple-tinged tips. The stalks should have smooth skin, be uniform in color, and have a dry, compact tip. Avoid wilted or limp stalks. When storing asparagus, wrap the stem ends in damp paper towels for several days. To extend the life further, refrigerate the stalks tips up in a cup of shallow water.
Buying local asparagus is beneficial to the local economy, good for the environment, and support a healthy lifestyle. When we purchase asparagus from a local market or farmers market, we make an active choice to know exactly where our food is coming from. With all the farmers right here in the state of Arizona, we can be assured that your produce is being taken care of from the seed to the market stand.