Asparagus is a member of the lily family and related to onions, leeks, and garlic, asparagus is a historical powerhouse of vitamins A, C, and K, soluble fiber, and folate. In Ancient Greece, this long veggie was touted for its aphrodisiac qualities (more than likely bunk, and due to its… ahem… shape…) and also was prescribed by healers to aid in liver function and dietary issues.

It’s a healthy source of potassium and helps with blood pressure. In the United States, generally, you will see the green variety, (one of which is named for our first First Lady, Martha Washington,) but asparagus also comes as a white stalk.

Asparagus has a slight funky flavor, similar to broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, but is sweet and lends itself to peppery and bright citrusy flavors. It is relatively inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. You want to make sure that the tops are intact and not starting to flower for the best freshness and quality.

Best Spices and Herbs for Asparagus

 

Delicious Spice Blends for the Aspara-guys!

  • Veggie Sprinkle: Lemon zest, garlic, green peppercorns, grey salt, summer savory, sesame seed, Herbs de Provence, celery seed, and ginger.
  • Buffy’s Slayer Helper: All organic blend of minced garlic, garlic granules, garlic powder, chili flakes, parsley, sea salt, and basil.
  • Piri Piri*: An authentic blend of garlic, aleppo, mustard, paprika, black pepper, piri piri pepper, and white pepper.
  • La Dulce Vita: Translating to “The Good Life” in Italian, this is a spicy salty, sweet blend with salt, evaporated cane sugar, fennel, garlic, black pepper, basil, coriander, and bird’s eye chili.
  • Everything on Everything: Not just for bagels! Includes poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, minced onion and salt
  • Herbs de Provence*: Versatile traditional French sophistication with basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram, tarragon, and a hint of floral lavender.
  • That’s Amore (Classic Italian Herbs)*: Oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram and thyme make this a super versatile blend of Italian seasoning.
  • Za’atar: Citrusy and herbal with sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, salt, oregano and marjoram.
  • Mrs. Pinch (Salt Free) Seasoning*: All organic and salt free, minced onion, coriander, granulated onion, celery seed, sumac, onion powder, dill weed, black pepper, and dill seed.
  • Bay Seasoning: A super-seasoner perfect for seafood, dips, and veggies, including sea salt, yellow mustard, chili flakes, ginger, green peppercorns, celery seed, onion, bay leaf, paprika and thyme.
  • Finger Lickin’ Chicken: Versatile and rich! Includes garlic, onion, salt, coriander, black pepper, fenugreek, sage, thyme, rosemary, cayenne
  • Balsamic Salt: Sweet and salty blend made with locally sourced balsamic oil and Pacific sea salt.
  • Chili Powder*: A deep blend of chilis including cayenne, chipotle, ancho and paprika along with cumin, onion, garlic, Mexican oregano, sage and sassafras leaf.
  • Humboldt Sazón: This sazón has no MSG! But it does have sea salt, black pepper, white pepper, cumin, garlic, onion, coriander, oregano, and annatto.

*=salt free blend

The Best Ways to Cook Asparagus

Boiled or Blanched

  1. Trim the woody end from the bottom of the stalk and wash your asparagus.
  2. Salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus to the boiling water and cook until bright green and tender. This usually takes 1-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the asparagus to a separate bowl filled with ice water.
  4. Remove from the ice bath, then season with your favorite seasoning.

Steamed

  1. Place trimmed asparagus into a steamer basket and cover with a lid.
  2. Cook on high heat for 2-4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the asparagus to a separate bowl filled with ice water.
  4. Remove from the ice bath, then season with your favorite seasoning.

Roasted

  1. Coat trimmed asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you plan to use.
  2. Place on a sheet pan and cook at 400°F for 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven and use a spatula to stir the asparagus. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Tips should be brown and stalk should be tender.

Sautéed

  1. Trim and cut asparagus into pieces about 2 inches in length.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a medium high sauté pan and add the asparagus.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and any blends you plan to use.

Broiled

  1. Set oven to High Broil.
  2. Coat trimmed asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you plan to use. Place on a sheet pan.
  3. Place the rack of the oven approximately 6 inches from the heating implement of the broiler.
  4. Cook for 8-10 minutes watching carefully until brown and tender.

Pan-Seared

  1. Heat a pan with butter or oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add trimmed asparagus and coat in the cooking fat. Cover and cook until the asparagus is bright green, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the cover and turn heat to high. Season with desired seasonings, and sear the asparagus moving with tongs until browned, about 3-5 minutes.

Grilled

  1. Coat trimmed asparagus in 1-2 tablespoons of a high-heat oil and your desired seasonings.
  2. Place stalks perpendicular across the grate over medium hot coals.
  3. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until bright green with charred lines.

 

We hope you enjoy these power-packed veggies and open your mind to how many ways you can add this green friend to your summer plate!

 

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“The Pinch Spice Market spices are absolute AMAZING! They're flavorful, potent, organic, and DELICIOUS! I love how layered the flavor profiles of the spice/herb blends are; they make everything taste worthy. OUTSTANDING!”

--Ayesha W.

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"Friendly and knowledgeable staff with excellent fresh spices makes this place a one of kind spice place worth shopping from.”

--Tim K.

“So far, Veggie Sprinkle, Finger Lickin' Chicken, and Porcini Salt are in our regular spice rotation.”

--Brian C.

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