Growing asparagus requires a little patience at first, but you can reap the benefits of its harvest for years afterward! Asparagus is an ancient delicacy that is still widely used today. It can be sautéed, steamed, grilled, pickled or baked into any casserole.

I like to frequently add it as a side dish because of its many health benefits. Asparagus is low in calories and sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, zinc and a very good source of dietary fiber. And it just tastes delicious!

After its second or third year in your garden, you’ll be able to begin harvesting your asparagus to eat. You’ll need a few ideas on how to use your bountiful crop. Here’s one of my favorite asparagus recipes, an Artichoke Asparagus Breakfast Bake!

Serves 8


  • 1 pound artichoke hearts
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • ½ tablespoon basil
  • ½ tablespoon thyme
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 dozen eggs


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Rinse artichoke hearts and set aside to let them drain in a colander.
  3. Snap away the woody stems of the asparagus, and slice into 1-inch diagonal pieces. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  4. Slice artichoke hearts in half and layer on the bottom of the casserole dish. Strain asparagus and layer over the artichokes.
  5. Layer cheeses on next, followed by basil and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and pour on top of the casserole dish, spreading evenly.
  7. Bake 30 minutes, or until the casserole firms and starts to brown.

Visit P. Allen Smith’s website for this recipe, as well as more about cocktails, food and gardening.