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Asparagus and Gardening with My Dad

A sure sign of spring is seeing the affordable fresh asparagus at the market.  We love it here and I prepare it often, usually by steaming it; however, I have found a new method that is just delicious.

My father loved to garden and took great pride in his gardening.   Nothing was better than cooking that first batch of asparagus straight from his garden to the pan.  His vegetable gardens provided him great joy ~ delicious vegetables for his family and friends along with plenty of exercise. 

Upon retirement, Dad organized the first community garden in Louisville, KY with many gardeners growing and sharing their crops with the other gardeners.  He was later asked to develop a vegetable garden at the Louisville Zoo and he thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the families admiring it and answering their many questions. 

Look at all those tomato plant stakes in just this one garden of his!

Dad also had over 200 rose bushes in the back yard, which he showed during events with the American Rose Society; he won many blue ribbons!  They were a beautiful, fragrant sight to behold and I always enjoyed a fresh rose bouquet in my house.  How I miss him and all of his fantastic gardening!  

These photos are from the early '80's when Mom and Dad still lived in Louisville.  They eventually returned to Ohio to live ~ near where their farm was located and where it all began.

Believe me, I am a much better cook than photographer!

Asparagus is a perennial member of the lily family and can almost be called the ideal vegetable with all of its many health benefits.  It’s low in calories and high in fiber, a natural remedy for constipation.  Asparagus contains the healthy bacteria inulin, which keeps the bad bacteria out of your intestines.  It’s beneficial with its vitamins, especially A, K and C.  Vitamin A promotes good vision and a strong immune system.  Vitamin K strengthens bones and your circulatory system and Vitamin C has powerful antitoxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which may prevent cancer.  Regular consumption of asparagus may help increase energy levels, improve dry skin, prevent kidney stones and possible enhance your libido.  What more could you want from this delicious vegetable?

Now for the recipe ~ it’s delicious and I hope you all give it a try if you love asparagus the way we love asparagus!  No doubt in my mind; you would have loved this, Dad!

Sautéed Asparagus


1 pound fresh asparagus, rinsed and ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Place asparagus in a saucepan with water, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, just until tender, not mushy.
Meanwhile, in skillet, add olive oil and heat for 1 minute or so.
Add shallots and garlic and lemon zest, salt and pepper and sauté.
Drain asparagus well.
Add to skillet mixture, combine well.
Remove asparagus to serving dish.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Dad, here’s to you!  I bet you’re still gardening up there!


  1. I love asapragus Pam, you have to try the risotto with them, it's fantastic!!

  2. My kids love asparagus, will have to try this, thanks for the recipe! Sweet post about your Dad :)

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your dad!
    We love asparagus and I am forever looking for a new ways to prepare them; thanks for sharing this recipe.

  4. Pam, I'm happy you are back! This recipe sounds really yummy. I'm bookmarking it right now ;)

  5. wonderful post, Pam..this sounds delicious

  6. I did my big grocery shop today and can you believe they were out of asparagus??? I was very disappointed:(

    We like to roast ours with garlic and olive oil in the oven - yum!

  7. Thanks for sharing such a lovely tribute to your Dad; he was a very accomplished and creative gardener!...I will try your recipe, it sounds great!

  8. What a lovely tribute to your dad. I do love asparagus and now have another way to cook it!

  9. Zia Elle, thanks! I love risotto and will do that!

    Dishesdone, great with your kids loving asparagus! Hope you try it! Thanks so much!

    Sage, thank you! He was the best! Hope you're having a good day!

    Kathleen, thanks! I'm happy to be back. Bill is doing much better now.

    Gulmohar, glad you like it and thanks for the visit!

    Sweet and Savory, I know what you mean. The same thing happened to me last week. I've roasted many vegetables but never asparagus. I'll have to try that now!

    Jacqueline, Dad certainly loved it, guess it brought back the days of living on the farm. And we loved all the good things he grew. Thanks!

    Farmchick, thanks for the kind words! And thanks for stopping by!

  10. I love a little lemon with fresh veggies - and asparagus is a favorite of ours!

  11. Pam, Great post. My dad was an avid gardener too. We always enjoyed his asparagus at easter time. Yummy recipe.

  12. I've never seen so many tomato plants! Oh I could make some majorly wonderful canned tomato sauce if I had THAT garden!

    I've been waiting for the asparagus to show up here. I love it in pasta!

  13. I really enjoyed this post. It brought back such memories of my dad and his love of gardening. I'm sure he has the biggest and sweetest ears of sweet corn growing in heaven.

    Great asparagus recipe too!

  14. My parents kept a garden too. I miss it living in an apartment, especially at tomato time. This recipe looks great. As soon as I see asparagus in the stores, it's being made.

  15. What a wonderful wonderful story and pictures of your dad and his gardens. I have no doubt heaven is a more beautiful place with your dad in it! What wonderful memories you must have. You're a very lucky lady.

  16. Hey there Pam girl...
    You look like your dad. I look like mine too. Was always out in the garden with dad. Out of three kids, I was the only one. Have always been thankful to have inherited his "gardening gene."
    His roses, and accomplishments are noteworthy!
    Wonderful post.

  17. I'm talking about YOUR dad's roses!

  18. I loved reading about your dad and his gardening! Asparagus is just about my favorite veggie. Your recipe looks wonderful. I also love it grilled in the summertime with a little kosher salt and cracked pepper.

  19. Just found your blog from of my favorite foodies.

    Wonderful asparagus dish. That's what I should be doing with the asparagus lying around the fridge.

  20. Great dish. I love asparagus and I am touch by your story of gardening with dad....wonderful moments to be treasured forever. Thanks for sharing the recipe and thanks for sharing your thoughts with you.


  21. Asparagus is full of nutrition. Just love it!

  22. what a fun garden to grow up with! I love asparagus- looks like a great dish!

  23. Oh yes, asparagus and spring. Simply delectable:)

    What a wonderful tribute to your Dad, Pam. I often wish I would have complained less when helping my dad with weeding:)

    Thank you for sharing this post with us...Your asparagus look yummy!!!

  24. Hi Pam, These photos of your Dad and his garden make me weepy. So sweet, makes me think of my Father. Great post. I finished cleaning up all of your saliva from you last comment, so you're free to come back any time. Love our link. Keri

  25. WOW it's so funny how you post a recipe about something I have just eaten! I love asparagus. I usually just stem it until tender and bright green and sprinkle a little salt on it and SCARF! I'll have to try your fancy way, sounds yummy.

  26. Fresh tender asparagus is so good! Here in the Pioneer Valley in MA, Spring and asparagus go together. Yummy!

  27. Lovely thoughts of your dad and gardening.

  28. Wow on all counts. Do you have a garden yourself? Have you ever tried asparagus in the microwave? Doesn't take long and is very flavorful, which your recipe sounds great too. Happy cooking!

  29. Thank you for sharing your story about your dad!
    I have just put an asparagus recipe too (risotto), nice to be in the Northen Hemisphere and have spring with you all!


  30. Your dad sounds like a man who got things done!
    Good for him.
    I should try your recipe, I've never been much of an asparagus user, but this sounds delicious.
    Hope your feeling better.

  31. Karen, it goes great with asparagus!

    Mimi, thanks! Good for your Dad and you know what it's all about with the fresh veggies!

    Abby, we had so many tomatoes since he had all those gardens. Mom always canned, made tomato juice and a great spicy ketchup which I will post this summer.

    Mags, thanks! I bet he does too! We surely had more than our share of sweet corn and loved every ear of it!

    Buttercup, I know what you mean about apartment living. We did way back when and I so missed having my own yard, garden and all.

    Danielle, thanks! He was a great Dad and besides gardening, he sang a lot. So I imagine he's doing a lot of that up there also.

    corgidogmama, I do look like him, especially when my hair was darker. ;) Great that you looked like yours too and was the only one to help him. I love gardening, veggies and flowers both but, stay away from the roses. I'm babying my hollyhocks, they look great so far. Thanks for all!

    theUngourmet, thanks! I will be trying it on the grill. It sounds great to me!

    Victor, it's nice to meet you! Go for the asparagus, try it! It's pretty good! Thanks for stopping by!

    Elin, thank you! They were wonderful moments that I love remembering! I'm so glad you stopped by!

    Little Inbox, you're so right! Thanks!

    Simply Life, it was fun! Thank you!

    louise, I know what you mean! I did complain about the weeding, especially when Mom told me to have all the weeds pulled in the flowerbeds by the time she got home from work. Bummer! Thanks for your kind words!

    Sam (Keri), thanks! Hope it didn't make you too bleary-eyed! Sounds like your father was a great one also. Your blog makes me drool every time I go there. Next time I'll take a bib so you won't have to do any clean up!!!

  32. Karen Deborah, great minds think alike! I too love it steamed with just S&P on it. That is usually the way we eat it but, this recipe is great for variety.

    JG, yes! Asparagus is certainly connected to springtime! Love them both. Thanks!

    Marilyn, thank you! You look so much like a woman I use to work with, it's great!

    midwesttomidlands, thank you! We had a garden until a few years ago. We have a plethora of trees and lots of shade now. I have a lot of flowers though but, it's not like having a vegetable garden! No, I've never tried asparagus in the micro. I will have to do it ~ I imagine it's just like steaming it. Thanks for telling me!

    Alessandra, you're welcome! Thank you for stopping by and reading it! Oh, love risotto and I will be checking your recipe out! Yes, love the springtime. See ya! Ciao!

    A Brit in Tennessee, he was that! Hope you try the recipe! Thanks, Bill is much better!

  33. Aww, what a sweet tribute to your Dad! Your asparagus looks wonderful!

  34. Cinnamon-Girl, thanks! He was a great Dad!

  35. Love the pictures. It was fun to learn about your dad. What a fabulous tribute. Love the recipe. I Love asparagus so I will be trying this one out. Hope Bill is doing well!!

  36. Tiffanee, thank you! Hope you try the asparagus! Bill is doing pretty good now. Thanks for asking! Have a good evening!

  37. I too love asparagus, normally back here we fry it with sambal, spicy, but just with some chopped garlic and prawns would be wonderful. What a great gardener your dad is, you must be real proud of him.

  38. Your dad certainly had a green thumb! I love this tribute to his memory. Very sweet post.

    I am all about the asparagus lately as well. What a great recipe!

  39. Cheah, your asparagus sounds delicious, especially with the prawns! Thanks, he was a great Dad!

    Joanne, he did! He tried a huge variety of things with great success. Thanks for the visit!

  40. I love all your old pictures, what a great trip down memory lane!

  41. Amanda, thanks! Love going down memory lane!

  42. I have always loved asparagus, but I like the way I make it better that the way my mom did (overcooked). Your recipe sounds good. I like to saute it with soy sauce, and garlic-ginger paste!

    I enjoyed seeing the photos! What a garden he had. My husband's dad still loves to garden and has enough room to on the dairy farm they live on. My daughter has always loved picking fresh fruits and veggies when we would go to MI to visit them!

  43. Lyndsey: Oh, the soy sauce and ginger-paste sounds delicious! I love ginger added to dishes! I definitely do not like vegetables over-cooked either.

    That's great for your father-in-law! Bet he milked a lot of cows like my Dad did on the farm. That's so great for your daughter to enjoy the garden and I bet Grandpa loves having her there! I know my Dad loved it when the grandkids "helped!"

  44. How lovely is the garden! Just look at those flowers. I bet your dad was the best gardener ever!

  45. My Little Space, thank you! He was a great dad!


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I was supposed to get a nice body for summer, but there's a small problem... I like food!

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