Friday, May 7, 2010

Is that an Asparagus in Your Pocket, or...

I just read that 4% of human genes are Neanderthal. Seems they didn't disappear after all, they are us!

And I have to tell you after seeing the state of my asparagus patch this year I believe it. What kind of a scoundrel would tromp through someone else's patch and take only the tips? I picture these thieves outfitted like dew worm pickers - tin cans tied to their knees and lights strapped to their heads.

But all is not lost. Like all wild asparagus lovers, I do have my secret patch. You can see that it is not on the side of the road. The location is a secret. My dog, Flynn, guards it vigilantly and is trained to kill trespassers. Or bark at them very loudly. Her choice.

Asparagus contains folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene. It is a natural diuretic. It is good for the heart and contains no fat, cholesterol or sodium. What's not to love?

My very favourite recipe, which I found in the Summer , Taste of Home Magazine, combines black beans, (great fibre source) and asparagus and is the hands down, best summer salad I have ever tasted.

You don't have to have wild asparagus to enjoy this one, folks.

Black Bean and Asparagus Salad
1 lb fresh asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 medium sweet red pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
dash pepper

Directions: Steam the asparagus for 4 to 5 minutes. Don't overcook them. You want them crisp! Combine the asparagus, beans, red pepper and onion in a bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin and pepper. Pour over the vegetables to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.



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