Chefs, Health, LifeKatie O'Connor

Alternatives to Asparagus

Chefs, Health, LifeKatie O'Connor
Alternatives to Asparagus

As asparagus struggles to regain its power after the hurricane, many of us have to re-strategize how we utilize it on our menus.

Thankfully, both broccoli and green beans are doing very well right now, and both are lovely substitutions. Like asparagus, both broccoli and green beans can be blanched ahead of time to make prep quicker and easier. And both options are super versatile in side dishes, pastas, under poached eggs for breakfast, you name it! Don’t worry. Produce Alliance has your back.

Alternative Recipes for Asparagus Dishes

 Real Simple 

Real Simple 

Pasta with Green Beans, Sausage, and Ricotta


12 ounces pasta

1 lb sausage (I like Italian or Merguez), removed from casing

½ lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 ¾ cups chicken broth

½ cup white wine

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbs chili flakes

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

3 tbs good quality olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat reserved oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add green beans and garlic to the same skillet, and sauté over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add broth, wine and chili flakes. Simmer over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta, but reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Add pasta, reserved pasta water, to the green beans and sausage. Toss just until sauce is almost absorbed by pasta. Remove from heat. Stir in ricotta cheese, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with olive oil and fresh basil.

 The First Mess

The First Mess

Charred maple and sesame broccoli with garlic and chilies


1 pound fresh broccoli

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tbs soy sauce

½ teaspoon coarse or kosher salt

A few pinches of pepper flakes, to taste

2 tsp maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar


Heat oven to 425°F. Wash and pat broccoli very dry. Slice broccoli crown into bite-sized florets. Peel the broccoli stem’s touch skin, and chop it into bite sized pieces as well. Place the broccoli into a large bowl and add all of this ingredients besides the vinegar. Toss to coat.

Spread broccoli in an even layer in prepared pan. Roast for 20 minutes, then use a spatula to flip and move pieces around for even cooking. Roast another 10 to 15 minutes, checking every 5, until broccoli is toasty and as crisp as you like it.

From the oven, taste a floret for seasoning and add more salt and pepper flakes if needed. Shower with rice wine vinegar and eat immediately.