Friday, March 12, 2010

Raw Sparrow-Grass

Raw asparagus, anyone? It's a good source of lots of yummy goodness. Anti-carcinogens, fiber, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, folate, zinc, potassium, Vitamin B6 and more.

In the 1600's, asparagus was referred to as sparrow-grass. (I just discovered this fact today while reading a book completely unrelated to food.) I'm in love with the name, not surprising given my affection for archaic terms.

Asparagus is a family fave around here, but it wasn't always that way. My first sampling of the green stuff was a soggy, mushy mess. Repulsive. It may have been frozen, or come from a can, or simply have been boiled to death. Whatever the case, I didn't dig the stuff until I had it grilled and the roasted. After that, I couldn't understand my friends who turned their noses up at it. If I could eat it every single day, I would.

Once I decided to go Raw, I thought sparrow-grass would be one of my cooked hold outs. I never saw it on the menus as Raw food restaurants, and assumed it was one of those veggies that required cooking to be enjoyed. Oh silly cooked foodie.

Marinated sparrow-grass is one of my all time favorite foods. (It's not in season here, but when my Lovely Boyfriend makes a rare grocery trip, I don't turn my nose up at anything in the bag.)

I love the skinny stalks. I chop them on a bias and marinate them in a combination of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice (or vinegar), and salt. If the stalks are thick, I use a peeler to create ribbons, but I don't like to do the extra work. They don't need to be dehydrated, but I like to throw them in a pyrex, cover with foil and leave them in the D overnight, at say 105-degrees F. The longer they marinate, the better. Just don't let them dry out.

Try it!
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