Asparagus is the perfect side dish for Valentine’s Day because of its age-old associations with love (it appears on just about every list of aphrodisiacs!) and because its fiber and nutrition are good for the heart.
The simple, creamy sauce snuggles up beautifully with other things besides the asparagus, too, enhancing potatoes or rice, quinoa or noodles. And it works real magic on green veggies. Put it on broccoli, green beans, or spinach, and your children will probably eat them! This is one super standby for all occasions:
36 thin fresh asparagus stalks, lightly steamed
1 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
3/4 cup milk
1. In a double boiler, place the cream cheese over medium heat. When cream cheese has softened, stir in mustard, lemon juice, and optional dill. Slowly pour in milk, stirring to thoroughly combine. Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.
2. To serve, place steamed asparagus spears on plates and drizzle with sauce.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch In the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).