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