Five ways to appreciate Ontario-grown asparagus

May 17, 2024

Spring has arrived, and with it comes the bountiful harvest of Ontario asparagus.

Now in full swing and expected to last until mid-to-late June, asparagus season in Ontario is short but intense. Once picked, asparagus is quickly cooled, packed and shipped to stores, an efficient process that ensures Ontario asparagus is consistently high quality, fresh and delicious.

It is also very nutritious. Just one serving provides 30% of an adult’s recommended daily intake for Vitamin B9, which supports healthy red blood cell creation, and Vitamin A for immune system repair. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin K and antioxidants to help promote bone growth and heart health.

Most Ontario asparagus is bright green, with crisp texture and earthy flavour. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Ontario’s asparagus farmers recommend some, or all, of these recipes to enjoy this season:

  1. Crispy Air Fried Asparagus is a great alternative to fries when looking for something a little healthier, or as a good way of getting a picky eater to try something new! Simply batter and coat the asparagus in breadcrumbs, or unsweetened coconut if you’re feeling adventurous, and they’re ready in five minutes!
  2. Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus spears provide a satisfying bite of both hearty and fresh. Combine it with tangy mustard for a great addition to any barbecue or picnic.
  3. A little lighter yet still satisfying, the Spring Goddess Salad is a great combination of Ontario asparagus, cucumber, mint and peas that will brighten up any meal with freshness. Add cooked chickpeas for some hardiness to make sure it’s not only delicious, but also filling.
  4. The Asparagus and Aged Cheddar Tart is one of those dishes that is great both on its own or as the side to something else. It combines the sharp taste of aged cheese with the milder flavour of cooked asparagus to make an all-around complementary flavour.
  5. The Heritage Asparagus Soup is an old family recipe that is the perfect comfort food. With just a few simple ingredients this is a quick, quality dish to make either on its own or with other things. As well this can be made both with fresh or frozen Ontario-grown asparagus, with the same quality and nutritional value. This is a great recipe to make a big pot of and freeze to save for later.

Find fresh Ontario asparagus at farmers’ markets across Ontario. The OFA and Farmers’ Markets Ontario are collaborating on an innovative partnership to build consumer awareness about farmers’ markets across Ontario. In this first-ever partnership between the two organizations, the OFA has created a $50,000 fund for marketing and awareness projects that promote and support local farmers who are participating at farmers’ markets.

Through its Home Grown campaign, the OFA raises awareness of the importance of preserving Ontario farmland to produce food, fibre, fuel and flowers.

Source : OFA
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