10 Dishes that Pair Perfectly With Asparagus


Springtime’s star veggie—it’s in season from February until June—is both versatile and tasty. Boil it, braise it, puree it, or just grill it and enjoy. In honor of National Asparagus Month (yup, that’s a thing), we've harvested a collection of the best dishes to pair with the flavorful spears.


Bake the green veggie into a pie. Well, sort of. Better Homes and Gardens suggests combining blanched asparagus spears and pre-cooked store-bought chicken ravioli in a pie plate and adding a garlic butter sauce made with parmesan and lemon zest. Then, bake until bubbly and enjoy.


What doesn’t taste good when wrapped in bacon? TV chef Rachael Ray wraps bundles of the stalks with center cut bacon or pancetta. Lightly coat with olive oil, then grill and you’ll be biting into crispy pork and greens in 15 minutes.


French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, known for his Michelin-starred namesake restaurant, borrowed this dish from his mom. Growing up, he recalls, his mother would purchase white asparagus—renowned in his hometown of Alsace, France—to make asparagus and ham gratin. This dish involves ham-wrapped asparagus bundles covered in a butter sauce and sprinkled with Gruyére cheese.


Serve up a steaming plate of delicious carbs with a recipe from Food Network chef Alton Brown. The Good Eats host cooks onions with Arborio rice, pours in white wine and chicken broth, then tops it all off with 12 ounces of wild mushrooms and asparagus. Serve as a side or even as a main course.


For Italian chef Fabio Viviani, the stalks are the perfect topper for his tuna steak carpaccio dish. The Top Chef competitor drizzles raw, thinly sliced tuna with miso dressing, and then tops them with butter-poached asparagus. The dish makes for a perfect light, delicious appetizer.


Get your fix of greens with this dish dreamt up by Bobby Flay. The celebrity chef tosses a pound of grilled asparagus with mesclun, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, kalamata olives, and cubes of sharp white cheddar, then drizzles it all with homemade dressing for a fresh and colorful salad.


To give a standard chicken-and-asparagus dinner a twist, steal a page from Cat Cora’s cookbook. The Iron Chef star spoons tangy feta salsa, made with parsley, basil, garlic, vinegar and oil, over crispy grilled asparagus and chicken.


This quick and easy soup is a puree of onion, asparagus, peas, tarragon, and heavy cream created by Top Chef finalist Carla Hall, and is served with a side of Parmesan shortbread coins. The Chew cohost swears, “Both are dead simple to make.”


British food writer Nigel Slater makes an incredibly easy asparagus stew by simmering lamb cubes, sliced shallots (or onions), and asparagus in stock and white wine. The delicious final touch: a dollop of crème fraîche and some chervil leaves.


In 30 minutes, you can whip up this Martha Stewart-approved meal. Cook linguine or fettuccine with halved asparagus, toss with butter and Parmesan, and top with a poached egg.

All images via iStock.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
To Celebrate March Madness, Wendy's Is Giving Away Free Burgers and Cookies
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

You don't need to win big in your March Madness bracket to afford an extra treat at Wendy's this month. As Thrillist reports, the fast food chain is giving away free burgers and cookies with any purchase during NCAA tournament season.

Wendy's announces new specials almost every month, and as the official burger sponsor of the NCAA, they weren't about to pass up the opportunity to offer a deal for March Madness. To claim your complimentary snack, download the free Wendy's app for Android or iOS, then head to the "Account" page and then "Offers." From there you can see all the specials Wendy's is currently offering, including a deal that gets you a free Dave's Single burger or a free cookie with any item you order. Deals for a buy-one-get-one-free burger and chicken sandwich and $2 off a salad are also in effect at Wendy's this month.

The burger deal ends April 9 and the cookie deal is good through March 26. But don't stop checking the Wendy's app after taking advantage of the current special: Wendy's promises to update it with new offers as the tournament continues. And if you're looking for more ways to embrace March Madness season, you can always try memorizing the stories behind every team's mascot before the final game.

[h/t Thrillist]

Big Questions
What Is Fair Trade?

What is fair trade?

Shannon Fisher:

Fair trade is a system of manufacturing and purchasing intended to:

1) level the economic playing field for underdeveloped nations; and

2) protect against human rights abuses in the Global South.

Fair trade farmers are guaranteed fair market prices for their crops, and farm workers are guaranteed a living wage, which means workers who farm fair trade products and ingredients are guaranteed to earn enough to support their families and comfortably live in their communities. There are rules against inhumane work practices. Fair trade farming organizations are monitored for a safe work environment, lack of discrimination, the freedom to organize, and strict adherence to child labor laws. Agrochemicals and GMOs are also forbidden. If these rules are not followed, a product will not receive fair trade certification.

The quality of life in many communities producing fair trade-certified goods is greatly improved. Sometimes, farming communities are given profit sharing from the companies that source their ingredients, and those profits go to improving the community as a whole—be it with a library, medical facilities, town infrastructure, or opening small businesses to support the residents. A major goal of fair trade is to help foster sustainable development around the globe. By helping farming communities in third-world countries, the economy of the entire region gets a boost.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.


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