June Recipe: Asparagus on Pasta

By Kelsey Johnson

Spring has sprung and the tastes of summer are right around the corner. Until then, feast on green: green onions, asparagus, spring garlic, spinach, and don’t forget the entire world of cool season greens like cabbage, kale, arugula, salads, collards, turnip greens, and more. We’re also seeing the start of turnips and some great radishes. Herbs are coming on as well, especially mint.

While not a fruit, rhubarb is typically eaten as one. So enjoy it in it’s peak season!

Check with your farmer about high tunnel production. You’ll be surprised what central Iowa farmers can grow with a little heat or even just some passive solar technology in their high tunnels and greenhouses.

As you plant your own garden, don’t forget that BFBL farmers are growing an awesome variety of bedding plants.

Goat cheese is back in full swing as the nannies had their kids earlier this spring and are now milking at full capacity. Eggs, meat, cheese, and poultry are becoming abundant. Though not yet in production for 2013, items like honey have carried over.

Speaking of carrying over, Iowa wineries have great wines from last year’s grape harvest. Seek them out for sampling at area farmers markets or special events like the Iowa Lawn Party at Winefest, June 2.

Get ready for strawberry season in a few weeks.  Enjoy asparagus and rhubarb now while they are in peak season.  And always talk with your farmer to get the freshest local foods available.

Speaking of asparagus season, our featured June recipe is courtesy of the Turtle Farms archive, which is now managed by Wabi Sabi Farm. Make sure to grab some fresh asparagus from them and try this tasty dish! While you’re at it, fresh arugula is also available from Grade A Gardens and blue cheese can be purchased at Maytag Dairy Farms!


Mark’s Asparagus on Pasta

Mark McAndrews


    • Asparagus
    • Walnut Pieces
    • Arugula
    • Olive Oil
    • Blue Cheese
    • Penne Pasta

    Cut asparagus into 1″ pieces. Sauté in olive oil until just starting to brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Toss a handful of walnut pieces into the skillet and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add arugula and blue cheese (the heat remaining in the pan will wilt the arugula and melt the cheese). Toss with cooked, drained penne pasta.


    These are all strong flavors that tend to compliment and compete with each other in this dish (which is why I give no amounts). The bitterness of the arugula and the funk of the blue cheese can dominate easily, so use a light hand with those two ingredients — adjust the amounts you use to fit your own tastes.