Asparagus recipes from our Kitchen to Yours

Celebrating Michigan Asparagus Season: A Taste of Spring

As spring unfolds, Michigan’s landscapes are not just blooming with flowers, but also sprouting one of the state’s prized crops: asparagus. Known for its vibrant green stalks and deliciously tender tips, Michigan asparagus is a herald of spring, eagerly anticipated by chefs and home cooks alike. Here, we dive into how this vegetable grows, the best time to harvest it, and share some delightful recipes and tips on how to store and clean it.

How Michigan Asparagus Grows

Michigan asparagus is unique due to the state's cool spring temperatures which provide ideal conditions for growing. Asparagus is a perennial, meaning once it is planted, the crop can be harvested for several years. In Michigan, the asparagus crowns are planted in sandy soils and can take about three years to fully mature, but once they start, they can produce for up to 20 years.

The asparagus plants are quite fascinating; they use the winter months to rest and as the soil temperature reaches around 50 degrees Fahrenheit in spring, they begin to sprout. These spears can grow up to 10 inches in a single day under optimal conditions!

When to Harvest

Harvesting typically begins in late April and can run through late June, depending on the weather. The key to harvesting asparagus is timing; spears should be cut when they are about 6 to 8 inches tall, just before the tips begin to open. Farmers and gardeners use a sharp knife or a special asparagus cutter to swiftly cut the spear at the base, being careful not to damage the crown.

Recipes to Celebrate the Season

Asparagus & Prosciutto Tart with Puff Pastry

This savory tart is a perfect way to showcase the fresh, woodsy flavor of Michigan asparagus.


  • Puff pastry
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Olive oil, fresh thyme, salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out puff pastry on a lined baking sheet.
  2. Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes, then cool in cold water.
  3. Spread ricotta on pastry, add prosciutto, and arrange asparagus on top. Sprinkle with Gruyère, drizzle with olive oil, and season.
  4. Bake 25-30 mins. Enjoy with a glass of white wine

Simple Grilled Asparagus

For something lighter, try this easy grilled recipe.


  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Grill for 7-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tips on Storing and Cleaning Asparagus

Storing: To keep asparagus fresh, trim the bottoms and stand the spears upright in a glass or jar with about an inch of water. Cover the tops with a plastic bag and refrigerate. Properly stored, fresh asparagus can last for up to a week.

Cleaning: Rinse the spears under cold water to remove any sand or dirt. If the ends feel tough, you can snap them off; they will naturally break where the tender part ends and the tough part begins.

Celebrating the asparagus season gives us a chance to enjoy one of Michigan's finest vegetables at its peak. Whether wrapped in a tart, grilled to perfection, or simply steamed, Michigan asparagus brings a fresh, springtime flavor to any meal!