Oh my goodness! I just discovered that there is a farm not even 45 minutes from our house where you can go and pick your own vegetables! Right now it is the end of asparagus season, but soon it will be time for peas and beans. I don’t know how many of you have ever seen asparagus out in the “wild”, but it is one of the craziest things. You just walk through a field full of weeds scanning the ground for stalks of asparagus and hoping you don’t step on any.
I was in full on I’m-a-farmer mode and loving every second of it! We spent a solid hour aimlessly wandering the fields and brought in a good haul of asparagus. On our way back to the market we stopped in the pick your own lettuce tent. I fell head over heels in love with Russian Kale! And a speckled lettuce leaf – the colors! It’s so gorgeous.
But this Russian Kale – Game. Changer. It is tender and spicy and has a slight bitter taste reminiscent of cabbage. It is softer then regular kale, making great for salads. I could have brought home 4 full bags this little garden gem. I haven’t found it in any of the local grocery stores – yet – but I will planted some! If you have never tried it, you absolutely must!!
Pendleton’s Country Market is only a short drive from Lawrence, but you feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere. It is a family run operation and they are happy to answer all of your questions. After you get done checking out all of their freshly made jams and pickles, you wait your turn to be taken out for pickin’. We patiently waited for the tractor to take us out to the field – some of us waited a little more patiently then others of us (**cough cough** over here ->). We were taken out to a prime spot and left there with the final words of, “take a lot taste tests.” And by-golly I took those words to heart. I snacked and snacked on asparagus. Turns out when you are in a field surrounded by asparagus, you can come up with almost any reason to try one!
After picking over 1 pound of asparagus, of course we had to have them for dinner! They were so fresh and tender that, without leaving them totally naked, I wanted them as natural as possible. We were already planning on having grilled porkchops with homemade applesauce (more on that coming soon!) and asparagus are the PERFECT summer side dish. I wish we had picked 2 more pounds to keep munching on for weeks to come. If you are buying yours from the store, be sure to trim off the woody bottom before cooking them. I quickly steamed the whole bunch and then drizzled a honey mustard sauce over them. A.MAZ.ING!
The honey mustard sauce can be mixed up in minutes. Take a generous tablespoon of the mustard of your choice (I have always had the best luck with a dijon or spicy brown) and mix it with 2 tablespoons of honey. The ratio will end up somewhere near two parts honey for every one part mustard, but adjust it to fit your tastebuds. Then slowly pour in apple cider vinegar, mixing as you go, to get a nice saucey consistency. Add a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle it over the hot asparagus and you are good to go!
5 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
10 minTotal Time
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon mustard, I used Spicy Brown by Sir Kensington's, but usually I use a Dijon
- 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- fresh ground pepper
- Put a steaming basket in pot big enough to fit a spear of asparagus and put enough water in to full the bottom, but not overflow into the basket - about 1 or 2 inches. Bring water to a boil.
- While the water is heating, trim the woody ends off of the asparagus.
- Once you can hear the water boil, disperse the asparagus in the basket. Reduce heat to medium and cover.
- Let steam until asparagus are bright green and tender, about 5 minutes.
- While asparagus cook, in a small bowl mix the honey, mustard, apple cider vinegar and pepper. Whisk well until the sauce is smooth. Add more vinegar to adjust consistency.
- Put the hot asparagus on a plate and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately