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Olé, It’s World Verdejo Day!

Verdant means green. And now that we are transitioning from late spring to early summer, a popular green vegetable is showing up everywhere in produce sections. We are talking about asparagus. This perennial garden vegetable is actually a member of the lily family, native to the eastern Mediterranean. The word asparagus comes from the Greek, meaning “sprout” or “shoot.” Stemming from as far back as antiquity, the Greeks and Romans praised asparagus for its unique flavour, texture, and alleged medicinal properties. Internationally loved and consumed with relish (not the pickle-based condiment), it has a high tolerance for salt and prefers sandy soils heaped into a crown in long rows. It can grow up to thirty cm in twenty-four hours. Size also matters—the larger the diameter, the better the quality. Low in calories, containing no fat or cholesterol, it is very low in sodium and a good source of potassium, fiber and a host of vitamins. In short, asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence.

What wine to match? Our choice would be Radio Boka Verdejo (pronounced ver-day-oh), a popular, characterful white from the Castilla Y Leon region of Spain. Similar to a Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo is citrussy, fruit forward, nutty, herbaceous with a nice acidity. Radio Boka is Vegan certified too.

Asparagus can be prepared in a variety of ways and here’s our take. Cut an inch off the bottom of the spears. Poach for two-three minutes (depending on thickness of spears) in boiling water to retain its crunchiness. Plate it and garnish with slices of radish and red onion, topped with soft goat cheese. Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar glaze. Serve with your favorite seafood dish.     

Radio Boka Verdejo LCBO #22872, $13.00