Eat This Now: Asparagus

It's crunch time for us to savor asparagus, as these fleshy green spears are only in season from mid-April through May. "It's the first real vegetable of spring," says Ben Bebenroth, chef and owner of Spice Kitchen & Bar in the Gordon Square Arts District. Since the stalks have a slight sweetness from the time they leave the dirt, Bebenroth hits them with a blend of chopped garlic, olive oil, vinegar, red chili flakes and sea salt. "The acid, heat and earthiness accent the asparagus' sweetness," he says. "I get the grill rockin' hot, then give them a slight char." He serves the bright green veggies with steak and a starch. "It's the perfect pairing." 5800 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-961-9637,

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