We’re seeing the first signs of mid-west grown produce showing up in our produce departments and we’re super excited about the return of Michigan grown asparagus. True asparagus lovers will tell you that you have to get your hands on fresh Michigan Asparagus, and we can’t help but agree. Only California produces more asparagus than Michigan where just about 20 million pounds of asparagus is grown and harvested on over 120 family farms during a short 6-7 week season. That’s 500 million asparagus spears from Michigan alone each year!!
Asparagus is nutrient dense, versatile and exceptionally delicious on its own or mixed into your favorite dish. Mix it in with pasta and pesto, toss it into your next salad or grill it up with a bit of sea salt and black pepper. Whatever you do with it, we bet you won’t be disappointed!
When buying Asparagus, look for stalks that are bright green and firm. Tips of asparagus should be tight and firm and may be slightly purple. Thickness does not necessarily indicate more or less flavor, though more mature asparagus will have thicker stalks. Avoid stalks with ends that appear tough and wood-like. When a bunch of asparagus is gently squeezed it should squeak ever so slightly.
If you don’t plan to eat your asparagus right away, we’ve got some tips for keeping it fresh until your ready to enjoy! Trim about 1/4 – 1/2 inch off the stem, and wash well with warm water. After washing, lay the asparagus out on a clean, dry kitchen towel and pat dry. Stand the spears upright in 1-2 inches of cold water and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Herbed Goat Cheese
1 pound fresh asparagus, stems trimmed
½ pound thinly sliced prosciutto
4 oz. herbed goat cheese
Cut prosciutto slices in half, and spread with the cheese. Wrap the prosciutto around each asparagus spear, leaving the tips and ends exposed. (Secure with a tooth pick)
Grill over a medium- hot fire in a charcoal grill. Or a preheated gas or stove- top grill to medium high until the prosciutto is crisp.
Check out some of our favorite Asparagus Recipes like grilled asparagus and asparagus and ricotta flatbread and head out to Heinen’s for some fresh Michigan Asparagus.