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The arrival of asparagus means springtime on the North Fork.

Typically harvested in the first week of May, asparagus is one of the first veggies to come into season after a long winter. The thick green shoots popping up in the fields also inspire chefs to transition away from squash-heavy winter menus to lighter and brighter dishes.

“I feature asparagus as soon as I can get it,” said chef Noah Schwartz, owner of an eponymous New American restaurant in Greenport. “I like to grill it to develop its natural sweetness and pair it with lemon for acidity.”

Schwartz also recommends enjoying asparagus with a soft-boiled or poached egg. 

“It is a classic combination,” he said. “The yolk adds a nice richness to the grassiness of the asparagus.”

Asparagus is available through early June and can be found locally at Bay View Farm & Market in Aquebogue, Sang Lee Farms in Peconic and a host of other local farm stands.