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It’s in recipes everywhere! Have you tried asparagus guacamole? (See recipe at far right.) Or seen the new purple variety? Your favorite Pizza of the Month Club is progressive in our recipes, but you won’t find anything purple in this month’s “The A’s” selection that features both Asparagus and Artichokes. Our recipe includes just the “ordinary” nutrient-dense green asparagus that we all appreciate.

So what’s so good about asparagus? It is high in folic acid and is loaded with compounds our bodies need to remain healthy — potassium, fiber, vitamin 6, vitamins A, C and thiamin, to name a few. A naturally fat-free food, it’s also low in sodium and has zero cholesterol.

This vegetable is a fast grower. It can surface overnight and under optimal growing conditions, can grow a whopping 6 inches in just 24 hours! How quickly the asparagus stalks grow determines how often the growers (both home gardeners and truck farmers) must pick their crop. The outdoor temperature plays a big factor in the timing. Early in the asparagus season, daytime temperatures are lower so the patches may be picked every four or five days. As the days and nights heat up, some fields will need to be picked every 24 hours!

If you enjoy gardening, the asparagus plant is pretty, and tasty! It makes a great addition to any flower bed, with its wispy pale green foliage that gets quite tall as it goes to seed in late summer.

Planting your own asparagus bed can be both challenging and rewarding. The asparagus plant is one of Mother Nature’s hardiest children. Choose the location of the bed carefully, as once established, that asparagus patch will thrive for decades!  (Check with your local County Extension Office for reliable instructions.)

Sassy Asparagus Guacamole – Makes 2 cups – 4 cups fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut, cooked in water until tender,   drained, then cooled, 1 small minced garlic clove, 2 t. lime juice, 1/4 c. chopped canned green chilies, 1/2 t. EACH salt and cumin 2 T. finely chopped onion, 1/2 c. chopped tomato

Place first 6 items in blender or processor and mix until smooth. Stir in the tomato and onion, and chill thoroughly. Serve with tortilla chips. (Spiciness intensifies as this dip ages, so leftovers can be really sassy!)

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Pizza Selections . .Please see individual pizza labels for how to bake the perfect CHICAGO DEEP DISH PAN CRUST PIZZA.

#1:  THE A’s GOURMET PIZZA

“A” used to be for “Apple.” Today it stands for fresh sliced Asparagus and sliced Artichokes! Throw on a covering of mozzarella and your favorite Pizza of the Month Club’s signature tomato sauce (with onions, garlic, spices, Romano, oils and Chablis), and you got yourself a great pizza treat!

#2:  STEAK N’ CHEESE GOURMET PIZZA

Spiced Italian Beef and Cheddar cheese couldn’t do their very best without the help of the Gourmet Pizza Club’s tomato sauce. (It’s everybody’s “Go-To” favorite for good reason!)

#3:  BASIL CHICKEN GOURMET PIZZA

Chicken breast strips, fresh basil and mozzarella are cuddled by our special garlic sauce made with olive and corn oils, garlic salt and powder, cayenne pepper and spicy Romano cheese.This is one well dressed chick!

 

 

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