It's Spring, that means asparagus season is upon us! One of my favorite ways to enjoy Michigan Asparagus is to make Michigan Asparagus Smashburgers.
Michigan Asparagus Smashburgers
Makes 4- Double Patty Burgers (or 8 Singles)
Pickled Asparagus Aioli
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup pickled asparagus, chopped with juice and spices
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck, 80/20
Kosher salt and black pepper
10 thick Michigan asparagus spears
1 medium Spanish onion, peeled
8 slices American or cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns (for doubles or 8 buns for singles)
Pre-heat griddle, cast iron pan or skillet to 350°F.
Add all Pickled Asparagus Aioli ingredients to a non-reactive bowl. Mix together until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until assembly.
PREPARE ASPARAGUS AND ONIONS
Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice ribbons of asparagus into a medium size bowl. Sprinkle asparagus ribbons with lemon-pepper seasoning and mix well to combine.
Using a mandoline, thinly slice onion into a medium size bowl and set aside.
Gently form the ground chuck into 8 equal size balls, they should be approximately 3 ounces each. Place each ball on the griddle, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add onions and asparagus, evenly, on top of each ball. Using a heavy spatula, smash each patty down and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn patties over, sprinkle on more salt and pepper. Add the cheese to each patty and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. (If making doubles, add 4 of the patties on top of the other 4 patties.) Place buns, cut side down, on griddle and toast for 1-2 minutes.
To assemble the burgers, add lettuce and tomato the the bun bottom. Add a double patty burger, then add some sauce to the cut side of the bun top. Place bun top on the patties, smash down and eat. Enjoy!
I'm so happy to announce that Michigan, currently, claims the #1 spot in the nation for asparagus production, including both fresh and processed asparagus. Yay, go Michigan!
Oceana County is known as the "The Asparagus Capital of the Nation" and produces two-thirds of the asparagus that is grown in Michigan.
Michigan asparagus is not only delicious, but very nutritious as well. It is low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 ounce serving, less than 4 calories per spear. It contains no fat or cholesterol and very low in sodium. It is a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, rutin and glutathione. One of the most important health benefits of asparagus? It is high in folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance for folacin, which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. It's not only tasty, it's also good for you.
Michigan is the only state to hand pick their asparagus. Asparagus is picked close to the ground, snapping off at the base. Stalks are referred to as spears and over 500 million spears are harvested by hand each season. It takes 4 years before a field is fully mature and fields last for approximately 20 years. A mature field is picked 25-35 times per season.
White and green asparagus are from the same plant. If they harvest the asparagus while still underground, it is white (because it hasn't reached the sunlight no photosynthesis takes places and therefor no chlorophyll develops which would give it its green color). Most asparagus in Michigan is grown in the sunlight, hence the green color. Purple asparagus is a different variety than green asparagus. It is also a little sweeter than green asparagus. It has a beautiful purple color when raw, but it turns green when cooked. So if you see white, green and purple asparagus at your farmers market, you'll know the difference between them. Green and purple asparagus can be eaten root to tip, raw or cooked but white asparagus needs the be peeled because it has a tough, bitter stalk. All asparagus needs to stay cold after it is picked.
For more Michigan Asparagus recipes and information, check out their website. Also, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. This post is sponsored by Michigan Asparagus. All opinions expressed are my own.