Wednesday, March 30, 2005

'Tis the Season for Asparagus

Let's take a break from the knitting talk for a moment and ponder about the humble asparagus. Did you know that asparagus is part of the Lily family? That there are 2 pickings per year, spring and fall? There are two colors, green and white? That the spears are chock full of vitamins B6, A, C, thiamin? Are a good source of potassium, folic acid and fiber? Not to mention that it has no fat and is low in cholesterol??? Pick it up at your local grocery store, now!

But what about the smelly pee? You may ask.

I'm not going to spout statistics here, or least not right now...but trust me when I say there's a lot of documentation on the subject of asparagus-induced smelly pee (oh, ok,
check this article out from WebMD). Apparently asparagus has the same sulfur compound as rotten eggs, garlic, and skunk. When the compound breaks down in your digestive system, there are by-products that cause the stinky pee. However. There is a genetic link to this, as well as the ability to smell the pee. And you can have a gene for one but not the other. Fascinating!

I've been eating asparagus for many years with no odiferous urine. Then Karl yelped one day, running out of the WC, saying my pee stank because he could still smell it even after flushing (we had an asparagus salad). I argued fiercely that my pee did not stink. He insisted otherwise. Then, just a week later, an article appeared in Time magazine saying you have to have a gene to smell the aroma. I smugly showed him the article and announced that I did not have the offensive gene. Even if my pee did stink, I could not smell it. Ha!

So if you're one of the lucky ones with the cannot smell asparagus pee gene, the following recipe is for you. It is from Cooking Light and is my absolute favorite for this vegetable. It's easy, brainless and takes only a few minutes. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

40 asparagus spears, trimmed (2 lbs)
cooking spray
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat. Serve immediately.


Jenn said...

OOO that sounds yummy. I can sell the pee but don't make the smelly pee.....strange

sherry said...

that asparagus recipe sounds luscious. been a few years since I had some asparagus. think I will go out and get some :-)

Violet said...

I must have both genes! Same with my DH as he will not eat asparagus anymore! Thanks for the recipe!