Culver City Observer -

By Cheryl Giraud
Special to the Observer 

The Recipe Spot


April 15, 2013

Eco-friendly Asparagus for Earth Day

Get out the party hats and blow up the balloons because it’s time to celebrate Earth Day’s 43rd birthday on Monday.

Blazing new trails to promote a clean and healthy planet, Earth Day was born April 22, 1970.

Although Earth Day’s unofficial beginnings are a bit older than its years, the founder, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson was well aware of environmental degradation and its impact. Best known as ‘The Founder of Earth Day,’ the Wisconsin senator and environmental activist thought it was important to shine a political spotlight on the issue as early as 1962.

But it was eight years later, with rising concerns looming about the negative effects of the changing physical environment of the planet, that the senator’s Earth Day became a reality.

Leading the charge to a cleaner planet, Nelson’s Earth Day helped spark a change in the environmental legislation course that later resulted in the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Act.

What began as a grass roots effort to raise awareness about the planet’s deteriorating poor health due to increasing negative environmental footprints mostly from human activity, the domestic event has grown into a globally celebrated ecological day in more than 180 countries.

Inspired to both celebrate and reflect on the beauty of the environment, Earth Day is dedicated to forging new paths to a healthier, cleaner planet.

One approach to a healthier planet are better food choices. With a commitment to help preserve the planet, there are an abundance of organic farmer’s markets that offer year-round, locally-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Because Earth Day is a great day to get in touch with your inner-Mother Earth, strive to connect with nature on Monday. One way, is to indulge your eco-friendly senses by eating something green and fresh purchased from a local farmer’s market.

So, after enjoying this environmentally friendly side dish recipe for Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Fresh Dill, in honor of Earth Day, go out and hug a tree.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Fresh Dill

1 lb. (or 1 bunch) asparagus, trimmed- tender part only

1 TBSP good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

½ Tsp. finely chopped fresh dill

½ tsp. grated lemon zest

Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and prepare asparagus- tender part only. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender- about 20 minutes. Toss with chopped fresh dill, grated lemon zest and red pepper flakes (optional).

Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional).

Makes 2 to 4 servings.


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