What’s a long skinny vegetable that’s rich in vitamins and can be found right now at the Hillsboro markets? Asparagus!

Asparagus is an ancient vegetable, with pictures of it shown on ancient Egyptian tombs as old as 4th century BC. Today, asparagus is still enjoyed around the world in healthy meals, sides, and appetizers. Roasting is one of the most popular ways to cook asparagus, but it can also be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, or baked.

Did you know that not all asparagus is green? Some varieties are purple! Purple asparagus can be cooked just like green asparagus, but tastes sweeter. If you know a picky asparagus eater, have them give purple asparagus a try!

Oregon asparagus is only harvested between mid-April and June, so don’t miss out! When shopping for asparagus, look for smooth, firm, straight spears with a bright color. While many people believe that thinner spears are more tender, but that’s not true. Thick asparagus stems are actually more tender and nutritious than their thin counterparts.

Find out more about our asparagus vendors in our Available in May blog.

Storing and Preparing Asparagus:

Storage Method 1

Wrap the bottoms of the asparagus with a damp towel and store them in the crisper.

Storage Method 2

Place the stems of the asparagus upright in a jar or glass with about an inch of water. Cover loosely with a water-resistant covering.

Prepping Asparagus

Asparagus bases are tough and woody, so make sure to trim them before cooking or serving.

Ham and Cheese Asparagus Roll-Ups

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  • Cream cheese

  • Cleaned and prepped asparagus stalks

  • Thinly sliced deli ham


Lay a number of ham slices equal to the number of asparagus roll-ups you would like to make on a clean, flat surface. Spread the desired amount of cream cheese on each slice.

Place a single asparagus stalk at the end of each slice of ham and roll it up (note: you may need to cut your asparagus stalks in half depending on their length and the size of your ham slices).

Enjoy as a snack, side, or cold lunch.

Other Suggestions:

Feel free to experiment using different kinds of deli meat and soft cheeses, or add additional toppings like dill.

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RecipesLiz Connor