Enjoy these recipes using asparagus

Spring brings so many wonderful gifts and surprises, but one of my favorites is fresh asparagus. We enjoy the bountiful crop while it lasts and prepare it in many different ways to get the full benefit of it all season. We love it on the grill or on my Himalayan salt block and many other ways as well.

If you plant fresh asparagus, you will enjoy a harvest on the third year. The first two years you do not harvest, but let it grow to develop the deep root system it needs to produce a maximum crop. But on the third year, you can harvest nearly every day for several weeks.

By Susan McClanahan

Today I am sharing several recipes with you that we enjoy and I hope you do, too.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

This Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus is made with just a few simple ingredients and makes a perfectly delicious side dish for any meal.

* 1/2 pound fresh asparagus

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

* 3 cloves minced garlic

* 2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

* Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

Rinse the asparagus and trim off woody end pieces. Spread out in a thin layer on top of the prepared cookie sheet. Spray the asparagus lightly with a coat of olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Use your hands to mix the asparagus with all of the ingredients, then lay out into an even layer again. Spray with one more light coat of olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry

This quick and easy Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry is filled with plump shrimp and fresh veggies in a simple and delicious honey garlic sauce. This recipe was made using Land O Lakes Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.

* 1 pound raw shrimp, thawed, peeled and tails removed

* 1/3 cup honey

* 1/4 cup soy sauce

* 1 tablespoon minced garlic

* 1 teaspoon minced ginger

* 2 tablespoons butter with olive oil and sea salt; divided

* 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces

* 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips

* 1/2 onion, sliced

Place the cleaned shrimp in a bowl and set aside.

Combine the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small bowl and pour half over the shrimp (reserve the other half for later), stir the shrimp to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a large skillet, cast iron if possible, over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter with olive oil and sea salt. Once melted add in the asparagus, bell pepper and onion and saute until crisp-tender and slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet to a plate to keep warm.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet and then add the shrimp, discard any used marinade. Cook shrimp about 1 minute per side, or until caramelized and cooked through. Quickly add the veggies and reserved sauce to the skillet and heat through. Serve over hot cooked rice if desired.

Notes: Feel free to substitute the shrimp with chicken or steak. Just make sure to cook until safe to eat.

Chicken Madeira Recipe

Juicy chicken and mushrooms in creamy sauce under melty cheese. You can find Madeira wine in larger liquor departments or specialty stores.

* 1 pound chicken breasts (2 large), halved lengthwise and pounded to an even 1/4-inch thickness

* 1 pound asparagus, blanched

* 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided

* Black pepper, to taste

* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

* 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

* 16 ounces button mushrooms, thickly sliced

* 1 small or 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced

* 2 large garlic cloves, minced

* 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus to garnish

* 1 1/2 cups Madeira wine, sweet white wine

* 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef stock or broth

* 1/2 cup whipping cream, heavy or regular

* 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

To blanch asparagus: Remove fibrous stems from asparagus by snapping them off. Fill a medium pot with 6 cups water, bring to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add asparagus and boil uncovered until crisp tender and bright green, 2-3 minutes, then remove from hot water and set aside.

Place a large heavy oven-safe pan over medium/high heat and melt in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until soft. Stir in diced onion and cook 3 minutes. Add minced garlic cloves then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons parsley. Cook another 2 minutes then remove mixture to a plate and wipe skillet clean with wet paper towel.

Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pound each cutlet between plastic wrap until no more than 1/4-inch thick. Season chicken all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place same pan over medium/high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. When butter is finished foaming, add chicken breasts and saute 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan to the same plate with mushrooms.

In the same pan, add 1 1/2 cups Madeira wine and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes vigorous boiling, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add 1 1/2 cups beef broth and boil until 2/3 cup liquid remains or about 1/4 of its original volume, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add 1/2 cup cream and simmer until sauce thickens, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return chicken to the pan, turning it to coat in the sauce. Top with mushrooms, asparagus and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh parsley.

Lemon Asparagus Pasta With Grilled Chicken

This recipe for lemon asparagus pasta combines tender asparagus and grilled chicken with pasta in a lemon cream sauce. It's a delicious and hearty entree that everyone will want seconds of.

* 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into strips

* 1 pound of asparagus, ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces

* 10 ounces of linguine pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine will also work)

* 3/4 cup heavy cream

* 2 tablespoons of butter

* Salt and pepper, to taste

* 1 tablespoon lemon zest

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

* Optional garnishes: Lemon slices and 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Add the asparagus to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid.

In small pot, combine the heavy cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.

Place the pasta and asparagus back into the pot you cooked it in along with the chicken.

Pour the cream sauce over the pasta mixture and toss to coat evenly, adding pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can toss just the pasta with the sauce and arrange the chicken and asparagus over the top of the pasta.

Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices if desired.

One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken And Asparagus

This 20 minute one pan garlic herb chicken and asparagus is full of rich, buttery herb flavors with both chicken and asparagus all cooked in a single pan for easy preparation and cleanup.

* 3-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even 1/2 inch thickness

* Salt and pepper, to taste

* 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed

* 3 tablespoons butter, divided

* 1 tablespoon minced garlic

* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

* Salt and pepper, to taste

* Fresh herbs for garnish, optional

Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and herbs and cook another minute or so until the garlic is fragrant.

Reduce heat to medium, add chicken to pan, and cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip and cook another 5-7 minutes. Chicken should be nearly, but not completely cooked through by this point.

Scoot the chicken over to the sides and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the empty portion of the pan. Once the butter is melted, add asparagus. Season asparagus with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, rotating throughout, for 4-6 minutes until tender and chicken is completely cooked through.

Serve immediately garnished with freshly cracked black pepper and fresh herbs if desired.

Notes: In place of the dried basil, oregano, and thyme, you can use about 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning.

Asparagus Potato Salad With Hot Bacon Dressing

* 2 pounds baby red or golden potatoes

* 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

* 1/2 pound asparagus spears, woody stems removed

* 4 radishes, thinly sliced

* Pinch of salt and pepper

* 3 green onions, thinly sliced

* 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

Hot Bacon Dressing:

* 3 tablespoons bacon fat

* 1 garlic clove, minced

* 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

* 2 teaspoons brown sugar

* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 3 slices bacon, crumbled

Place the potatoes in a pot and fill it with cold water. Bring it to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, just until the potatoes are fork tender. This will differ based on the side of your potatoes, but you don't want them mushy or falling apart. You want them slightly firm so they hold up in the salad. Slice the potatoes in half or in quarters, depending on their size and how you'd like them. Place them in a large bowl to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is totally crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease. Spoon out about 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease to also reserve for the dressing. Put the asparagus in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until it's bright green and just crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Place the asparagus aside.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, asparagus, radish slices, green onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Watch the salt here since the bacon is salty and the dressing is salty. Toss the mixture with the hot bacon dressing. Sprinkle it with the chives. Taste and season additionally if desired.

To make the Hot Bacon Dressing, add the bacon grease, minced garlic, vinegar, sugar and mustard to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the dressing slightly emulsifies. Season with the salt and pepper. Before serving, add in the crumbled bacon. You can keep this over low heat while stirring occasionally until ready to serve. I suggest reheating it in a saucepan if necessary.

Spring Veggie Gnocchi

* 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces

* 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

* 1 (16 ounce) package gnocchi (found in dry pasta section of store)

* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

* 2/3 cup half-and-half

* 1/2 lemon, juiced

* Salt and pepper, to taste

* Optional: red pepper flakes, garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil and onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until translucent. Add garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chopped asparagus and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Add peas and gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes. Pour half-and-half and Parmesan cheese into skillet and stir carefully to coat with cream sauce. Sauce is done when cheese has melted and cream sauce has thickened. Add lemon juice and toss before serving.

One Pot Lemon Chicken, Spinach and Asparagus Orzo

This recipe is made with some of the freshest flavors of the season, including lemon, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and Organic Girl Super Greens!

* 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

* Salt and pepper

* 1/4 cup chopped onion

* 1 cup orzo, in the pasta section of your store

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth

* 1 cup fresh asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces

* 5 ounces Organic Girl Super Greens

* Zest and juice from one lemon

* 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the chicken is thoroughly cooked then remove it from the skillet onto a plate.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet then add in the shallot. Saute for one minute or until the onion starts to soften.

Add in the orzo and garlic and saute for about a minute. Pour in the chicken broth, stir everything together and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes and then add the asparagus. Simmer covered for an additional 5 minutes, then add the spinach. Cook for one minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove the lid and if there is any excess liquid remaining continue to cook uncovered for another minute. Add the cooked chicken back into the skillet and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese until everything is combined. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy.

If you like a lot of greens in this meal, use the entire 5 ounce container, or adjust depending on your taste.

Roasted Asparagus and Bacon

* 3 bunches asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed

* 3 tablespoons olive oil

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

* 1 pound sliced bacon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, garlic and rosemary, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Separate the spears into piles of 3 or 4. Wrap a slice of bacon around each pile, spreading out the bacon as you go so just the top and bottom of the spears are showing. Place the bundles on a baking sheet and bake until the bacon is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Asparagus Stir-Fry

* 1 teaspoon cornstarch

* 1/2 teaspoon sugar

* 3 tablespoons chicken broth

* 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

* 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

* 8 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-1/2-inch pieces

* 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

* 1/2 cup julienned carrot

* 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

* 1 tablespoon canola oil

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch, sugar, broth, soy sauce and ginger until blended; set aside.

In a small skillet or wok, stir-fry the asparagus, mushrooms, carrot and garlic in oil until crisp-tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Yield: 2 servings.

Asparagus and Chicken Stir-fry

* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks

* 1 tablespoon soy sauce

* 1 tablespoon sugar

* 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon

* 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

* 1 tablespoon dry sherry

* 3/4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium canned, or homemade or water

* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

* 2 bunches medium asparagus (about 2 pounds), woody stems trimmed, sliced into 1-inch pieces

* 1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

Serving suggestion: Brown or white rice

Freeze the chicken breasts for 20 to 30 minutes and then thinly slice the chicken against the grain into strips. Toss the strips with about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the sherry in a bowl. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with the broth.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the asparagus, scallions, remaining garlic, ginger, 1/4 cup of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir-fry until the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat the same skillet until very hot, then add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Return the asparagus to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a full boil to thicken. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates; serve with rice.

Quick Chicken And Asparagus Skillet

A quick and easy chicken and asparagus stir-fry.

* 1 tablespoon soy sauce

* 1 tablespoon honey

* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch)

* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces

* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

* 2 scallions, chopped

* 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

* 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce and honey. Add chicken, and stir to coat. Set in the refrigerator until ready.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, and saute until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Remove chicken from marinade, and add to skillet. Saute until nearly cooked through (with the insides still slightly pink), about 5 minutes. Then add garlic, scallions, and the reserved marinade to the pan. Saute for an additional 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked asparagus and sesame oil until combined. Serve immediately with rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.