Asparagus: the slender spear that signals the start of spring. Whether enjoyed roasted or raw, accompanying pasta or rounding out an omelet, asparagus is a natural addition to the season’s best dishes. Loaded with vitamins E and K, folate, and potassium, this earthy green is also a nutritional superstar; health benefits of asparagus include its anti-aging effects and cancer-fighting abilities.
Here, Chattanooga locals share original recipes that allow this spring vegetable to shine.
Davis Wayne’s Sautéed Green Beans and Asparagus
By Chef Antonia Poland | Serves 6-8
6 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 small sweet peppers, diced
1 Ib. fresh whole green beans
1 bunch fresh asparagus
Garlic powder, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Seasoned salt, to taste
2 oz. pineapple habanero sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium. Place the onion and sweet peppers in the heated oil, and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add the green beans in with the onions and peppers. Place a lid on the pan, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Cut the ends of the asparagus off and discard, then cut the remaining asparagus in half. Add the asparagus to the pan, and season to taste with garlic powder, cracked black pepper, and seasoned salt. Place the lid back on, and cook for 5 minutes or until the green beans and asparagus are fork-tender.
- Plate the dish and garnish with the pineapple habanero sauce. Enjoy!
Did you know?
Ever come across a white asparagus? Grown undergrown, these pale spears aren’t exposed to sunlight, which means they don’t produce chlorophyll (what makes plants green). White asparagus is a delicacy in other parts of the world, like Europe, even inspiring full-blown festivals and celebrations.
Danielle Townsend’s Creamy Pesto Chicken and Veggies
2 Tbsp. cooking oil (olive or canola
1 Ib. boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 Ib. asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pesto (store bought or homemade)
1/4 cup 2% milk or heavy cream
Grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon each in total) and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, until chicken has cooked thoroughly and is lightly browned. Remove chicken and let it rest.
- If necessary, add another tablespoon of oil. Add sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, grape tomatoes, and bell peppers to skillet. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low. Slice chicken in 1/2-inch strips and add to skillet. Add pesto and cream and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.
- Continue to stir occasionally while the mixture is heating, about 3 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
Hailing from Tunnel Hill, Georgia, Danielle Townsend loves to cook because she loves food! Danielle incorporates lots of raw vegetables into her dishes because of the brightness of the colors, the crispness, and the pure freshness veggies add.