Asian Asparagus Toss
Bee sting? Heart problems? How about a toothache? Probably the last thing you would reach for would be asparagus, unless you were living thousands of years ago. People who lived in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, where asparagus originated, believed it contained medicinal properties to cure these ailments. Today we know asparagus is healthy because of its low calorie count and high content of Vitamin A. It also contains Vitamin C (essential in formation of collagen) and is high in folic acid.  -- from the Grazing the Garden series of Montana State University Extension


1 1/2 pounds fresh thin asparagus

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted
sesame seeds 


1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until lightly browned. Set aside.

2. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal in 1/2 inch pieces. Put asparagus in a pot of cold salted water, bring to a boil and drain. Run cold water over asparagus to cool. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

3. Place asparagus in a bowl and sprinkle asparagus with sugar.

4. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes for the flavors to mix.  
5. Toss dressing with the asparagus and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. Excellent as a side dish for grilled meats or fish.

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Growing Tip

When harvesting your asparagus, be sure to cut spears for no more than the first six weeks. Stop harvesting when the spears become noticeably smaller in diameter. Let the remaining spears remain to build a vigorous root system for the next year’s crop. Asparagus can grow in low, wet areas but needs well-weeded, rich soil.


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