Celebrate Early Summer Vegetables

Photo credit: Illinois Farmers Market Association












This month we highlight asparagus and rhubarb for the start to summer and outdoor farmers’ market season. Rhubarb is a red, tart vegetable resembling celery. Use the rhubarb stalks, as the leaves cannot be eaten. Asparagus can be green, purple or white, and grows individually out of the ground. Both rhubarb and asparagus are rich in vitamin K to assist calcium in bone support and fiber for healthy GI function.

        “I prefer asparagus roasted or blanched to maintain a subtle crunch,” says Lauren Woodbridge, a member of the Illinois Farmers Market Association’s Board of Directors and co-owner of The Kitchen Sink (TheKitchenSinkChicago.com), a bagel company specializing in organic, local bagels sold at Chicago farmers’ markets.


Asparagus and Rhubarb with Quinoa

Yields: 2 to 4 servings

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed

1-2 stalks of rhubarb, trimmed and sliced

1 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup  quinoa

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley

¼  tsp salt

 ¼ tsp pepper

Set oven to broil.

Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add quinoa and cook.

Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for about 5 minutes. Remove from water and add to an ice water bath to maintain green color and firm texture.

Set quinoa aside to cool. Lay out on a sheet tray covered in parchment paper. Broil about 10 minutes or until brown and crispy.

In a small pan, warm up a tablespoon of butter. Cook rhubarb for about 10 minutes until tender and starts to break down.

In a large bowl, combine asparagus, olive oil, rhubarb, parsley, lemon, salt and pepper.

Plate up and finish with crumbled crispy quinoa pieces.


The Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA), supports local food and food systems by giving Illinois farmers’ markets and producers access to resources, education and connections in order to grow healthier and economically vibrant communities. For more information, visit ilfma.org.




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