Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Asparagus and Avocado Pinwheels/ Asparagus Guacamole/Spargel recipes

SPARGEL means Asparagus in German.
This is one of my favorite times of the year in Germany because you can buy fresh asparagus from all the little farm stands.  If you are here in Germany, you can't do better for freshness than stopping at a stand along side of the road.

You can purchase the familiar green asparagus or you can try white asparagus.
I have never seen white asparagus in Maine, but it is produced by a process called etiolation, which is simply depriving the vegetable of light. Dirt is kept mounded around the emerging stalk, which means the plant cannot produce chlorophyll, hence there is no green color to the asparagus stalks.
People here in Germany consider white asparagus to be slightly milder in flavor and a bit more tender than green asparagus.
Getting into the "spirit" of Spargel season, I want to share with you some unusual but delicious recipes for asparagus.
Asparagus Guacamole
2 cups of chopped cooked asparagus
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped onion (or 1/2  teaspoon onion powder)
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 fire-roasted red bell pepper from jar (not pickled)
3/4 teaspoon Lawry salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 clove pressed garlic
 generous dash of Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup sour cream

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer your guacamole to a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Serve with your favorite chips.

This is a yummy guacamole if you are an asparagus lover!
Mac and I had never had this before and thought it was delicious.

Asparagus and Avocado Pinwheels

24 spears asparagus
slices of thin honey roast ham
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked cold long-grain white rice (salt and pepper your rice to your taste)
4 tablespoons sour cream (Creme Fraiche for you Brits)
3 (10-inches in diameter) whole tortillas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped red onion (optional)
In a mixing bowl, mash your avocado, lime juice and garlic well.
In another bowl, stir together your rice and sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large dry frying pan over medium heat. One at a time, heat the tortillas in the hot pan until softened, approximately 15 seconds per side.

Place ham on the tortilla. Next layer the rice mixture over the ham. Spread a bit of the avocado mixture on top. Place 4 or 5 asparagus spears on top of this. Sprinkle with parsley (or cilantro if you like) and onion.

  Roll your tortilla.  If you make these in advance, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Slice them while the tortilla is still cold from the refrigerator.  Return them to room temperature before serving.
This is a unusual and very nice appetizer for any party.

Mac LOVES asparagus and he thought these two recipes were especially worth a try for you readers.

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