Quick and Tasty Lamb and Asparagus Curry Celebrates the Best of Spring

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Fresh California Asparagus is in peak season right now with markets stocking plenty of the succulent, crisp green spears along with tender American lamb, two perennial consumer favorites. The pairing of this springtime duo makes eating and entertaining at home a truly extraordinary experience.

Lamb and Asparagus Curry

Consumers are wild about fresh California asparagus, the succulent green spears are consistently named America's favorite side dish in food surveys.

Fresh California Asparagus is in peak season right now with markets stocking plenty of the succulent, crisp green spears along with tender American lamb, two perennial consumer favorites.

The pairing of this springtime duo makes eating and entertaining at home a truly extraordinary experience. “Growers expect to harvest over 40 million pounds of fresh California asparagus in 2011. A return to sunshine and warmer weather has helped assure the sweetest crop in years and early production shows outstanding quality,” stated Cherie Watte, executive director, California Asparagus Commission. "Consumers are wild about fresh California asparagus, the succulent green spears are consistently named America's favorite side dish in food surveys. Our expanded website has new and kid-friendly recipes for appetizers, soups, main courses and fresh brunch ideas including pizzas and frittatas, to name a few," she said.

In this fresh and easy to prepare lamb and curry recipe, mild flavors, crunchy asparagus, and tender lamb combine into a delicious, healthy main dish meal. The lamb delivers special occasion flavor at everyday prices. The moist tender asparagus spears are packed with nutrients and the aromas and flavors are a delight to the senses. Serve over Basmati rice with plenty of warm Naan bread.

Lamb and Asparagus Curry
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1hr 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings

¼ cup curry powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2½ lbs. American lamb shoulder, boned, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
olive oil for browning lamb

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened lite.
2 cups broth, chicken or beef
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 Tbl. fresh ginger, minced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 lbs California asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl toss lamb in curry, salt and pepper to coat. Heat oil in large heavy skillet. Brown lamb in small batches on all sides. Transfer lamb to another bowl after each batch.

Add onion and garlic to skillet and sauté until soft. Add coconut milk, broth, garbanzo beans, ginger and cinnamon. Return lamb to skillet, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until lamb is tender, about an hour. Uncover and add asparagus. Simmer until asparagus is tender and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with Basmati rice and mint.

Nutrients per serving: calories 551, fat 23 gms, calories from fat 207, saturated fat 19 gms, cholesterol 123 mg, sodium 1026 mg, fiber 8 gms, protein 50 gms

For additional photos and recipes visit the California Asparagus Commision and the American Lamb Board

For information on California Asparagus Spring Menus visit Lark Creek Restaurant Group. The Stockton Asparagus Festival takes place on April 15-17, 2011.

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Patricia Schneider

Cherie Watte
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