When asparagus is in season, run to the nearest supermarket or greengrocer and buy a big bunch. Cook it quickly and lightly. Stir-frying asparagus, rather than boiling it, preserves the water-soluble vitamins, including folate.
2 teaspoons hulled sesame seeds
750 g asparagus
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 clove garlic, slivered
1 cup frozen peas
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Toast the sesame seeds in a small heavy frying pan over low heat, stirring frequently until golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to prevent further cooking.
Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into 4 cm lengths. Spray a large nonstick frying pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the asparagus and peas to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the peas are heated through, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the asparagus and peas and toss well to combine, then serve.
A cup of cooked asparagus provides remarkable amounts of folate – well over half the day's requirement. This heart-healthy B vitamin is also plentiful in peas. Folate helps to reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a substance linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.