Asparagus is beautiful served by itself or perhaps with some lemon juice or butter. The flavor of this delicious vegetable is also compatible with a wide range of spices, if you want to go for a bolder taste. Any of the herbs, spices or seasonings in this photo can be combined with asparagus, for excellent results.
From left to right, top to bottom, you can see mustard seed, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel seeds, paprika, curry powder, parsley, red peppercorns and black peppercorns. You can get ready-ground spices or grind your own.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can do with each of these:
Mustard Seed – One of the best ways to combine mustard seeds and asparagus is to steam the asparagus until it is tender and serve it with a homemade mustard seed vinaigrette. To make the vinaigrette, combine mustard seeds with orange juice, vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil in the blender. You will also need to add a sweetener – sugar or maple syrup would work. Use your judgment as to the amounts, tasting as you go. You can also use mustard seeds when making a pickled asparagus recipe.
Nutmeg – When combined with fruit, nutmeg imparts a spicy taste. When added to vegetables, it gives them a degree of sweetness. Try nutmeg with asparagus. You can sprinkle ground nutmeg over cooked asparagus or mash some ground nutmeg into softened butter and serve the asparagus with nutmeg butter.
Cinnamon – As with nutmeg, cinnamon brings out the natural sweetness of asparagus. If your asparagus recipe contains tomatoes, try adding a little cinnamon. Cinnamon and tomatoes are natural partners in savory recipes – try it, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Fennel Seeds – Toss asparagus with orange juice and fennel seeds before roasting, pan-frying or grilling it. The resulting flavor will be spicy and sweet. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the asparagus spears to finish them off perfectly. This is one of the more interesting spices for asparagus.
Spices for Asparagus
Paprika – You can use paprika to make a delicious sauce for your homemade asparagus recipes. Combine a pinch each of paprika, garlic powder and cumin with half a cup of mayonnaise, a little olive oil and some fresh cilantro. Grill, steam or roast your asparagus and serve this delicious paprika sauce with it. The sauce is an attractive orange color and the flavor is nice with the asparagus.
Curry Powder – Any vegetable can be curried, to add extra flavor, and asparagus is no exception. Sprinkle some curry powder over your cooked asparagus or pan-fry it in curry powder and olive oil for an exotic flavor. A little curry powder goes a long way so you will only need a pinch. This is one of the most fragrant spices for asparagus and the flavor match is great. Use mild, medium or hot curry powder, whichever you prefer.
Dried Parsley – The relationship between asparagus and parsley begins with cultivation. Planting parsley near asparagus plants helps the asparagus to grow vigorously. Basil or tomato plants also benefit growing asparagus. Cooked asparagus is nice when flavored with fresh or dried herbs. The taste of parsley goes well with cooked asparagus.
Red Peppercorns – Peppercorns can be crushed, cooked whole or used to make vinaigrette recipes and any of these is suitable for your asparagus recipes. Red peppercorns can be ground with a mortar and pestle, and combined with orange, clementine or tangerine juice, to make a simple fruity dressing for cooked asparagus.
Black Peppercorns – Black pepper features in thousands of savory recipes and this seasoning is one of the basic ones when it comes to asparagus recipes. A lot of recipes call for salt and black pepper to finish the recipe off and season it to perfection. Whole black peppercorns can be ground up or used whole in sauces or vinaigrette recipes.
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