Seasonal Asparagus

Short on time? Don’t let those boxes and pre-packaged foods lure you in. Skip the box of pasta and the jar of sauce and pick up something that came directly from the ground. You’ll be greeted with vibrant produce the minute you walk into any grocery store. Grab some asparagus, which is now in season. Then at the seafood counter select some shrimp, before heading home to prepare this simple salad.

Asparagus is a harbinger of spring. It’s an abundant treat, one of the first local vegetables to make an appearance. Select the thinner spears. They are the mildest tasting and most tender. To avoid mushy asparagus, blanch them. Put trimmed spears in boiling water for two to three minutes, until they are bright green. Immediately put them in ice water for the same amount of time and serve. The following recipe utilizes that cooking technique, along with a few other flavors.

Asparagus Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

  • 1 pound asparagus, woody stem ends removed
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, shelled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the asparagus and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and move it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pot of boiling water. Boil for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Let the shrimp drain off any remaining liquid.
  3. Slice the asparagus thinly, along a diagonal. At the tip, chop that off in one piece.
  4. Combine the shrimp and asparagus together in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Adapted from:

Originally published in the West Hartford Fleet Feet newsletter, "The Extra Mile" (April 24, 2012, Issue #102)

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