You had better not be! But I am sure you wouldn’t.
Its is asparagus season, and you had better get in quick. Having a notoriously short season make them for me even more desirable. This of course makes me love them even more.
So I suggest you make the most of them if you want to get seasonal, local produce.
Here are a few simple recipe ideas. I like to keep things simple with asparagus. They have such a delicate, natural slightly nutty flavour that can be enhanced with any type of butter/buttery sauce, and mild, sweet cheeses, such as a goats cheese.
Do not over cook. I like them like pasta, so slightly al dente. ( to the bite) which means you want them to have a slight crunch.
To prepare asparagus, wash and take off the bottoms, its hard to say how much but a good test is to gently bend the asparagus near the bottom, where it naturally breaks is where the tougher part can be. DO NOT THROW AWAY THE ENDS!!!We will use these later in a soup. If the asparagus is young, generally quite thin, you may not need to take more then the very end off, and if you want to get all cheffy you can peel the end into a tip. This resembles the spears on the other end and adds a touch of finesse to any dish. It also ensures a nice even cook.
For thin asparagus I personally wouldn’t cook longer then 1-2 minutes, for larger thicker stems I would do no more then 3-4 but it is a personal choice. Cook in boiling water you want to cook fast and hot to retain that lovely green colour, such as broccoli and treat the same, serve straight away or if cooling, cool quickly in ice water.
Simplistic is best! Serves 2-4 depending on use as a side or snack.
x 1 bunch of asparagus
x 1 knob, 50g salted butter
x small handfull, 50 g flaked almonds
Simply fast boil for 1 minutes, drain. Melt a good knob of salted butter in a frying pan and pop in the asparagus, cook on high for 1 minute.
In a dry pan toast the flacked almonds for 2 minutes until golden.
serve with cracked black pepper and some flacked almonds scattered on top.YUMMMMMMMMM
Great as a side dish to meat and fish.
Asparagus wrapped in parma ham. Serves 4-6 as a snack 2-3 spears each.
This a great simple dish, great as a starter or snack.
x 1 bunch of asparagus
x 1 pk 250g/500g parma ham or prosciutto
drizzle of olive oil
Simply wrap one spear with one/two slices of parma ham. Do this to the bunch then drizzle with a little olive oil. Pop under a very hot grill for 2-3 minutes. You are looking for the edges of the asparagus and ham to have a good colour.
Serve as is or grate a little parmesan cheese over the hot rolls.
Also cook the same as above as serve with a great hollandaise to dip.
Also some al dente asparagus with a sift poached egg is heaven. You can dip the asparagus into the egg yolk, creating a sort of self made hollandaise , yolk sauce. Amazing. See Lazy Sunday Brunch blog post for a hollandaise and poaching eggs to perfection.
Goat’s Cheese and Asparagus Tart. Serves 4-6
A great tart to eat for a light but filling and flavourful meal.
x 1 bunch of asparagus, raw
x 1 250 g log of goats cheese. Welsh cheeses are nice, but there are many varieties in shops these days.
x 1 amount of pastry short crust, see bake love basics blog.
x 1 onion lightly cooked
x 5 eggs beaten
x 250 ml double cream
Seasoning salt and pepper
Method: After making the pastry, keep in the fridge to cool. Roll out and place in a greased deep pie dish, see Life of Pie blog for tips on pastry rolling, blind bake for 10 minutes.
Gently cook onions in a little oil for 5-10 minutes.
Beat the eggs and cream together and season with a few pinches of salt and lots of cracked black pepper ( as much as you like).
After the blind baking, pop in cooked onions and make a nice layer, arrange the raw asparagus in the dish in a nice pattern. Pour over the egg mix. Crumble the goat cheese on top evenly, and grate some fresh nutmeg over the tart.
Bake at 180-200 degree over for 20-40 minutes until the top is golden brown, and the egg mix is cooked and isn’t wobbly any more. Cool slightly, cut and serve with a lovely fresh green salad. A perfect spring meal.
A delicious soup for using up tougher spears or the odds and ends left over form other recipes.
x 1 bunch or equivalent of asparagus ends/bits.
x 1 onion
x 3 sticks of celery
x 1 potato
x 100 ml of double cream
x 3-400 ml of stock
Salt and pepper
Roughly chop onion and potato and cook with a little oil. Chop celery and asparagus and add to saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes, add stock, bring to boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes until potato is cooked through. Add cram then blend until smooth. I generally find that the soup is smooth enough, but you can sieve if you are finding some stringing bits of asparagus. Season to taste, serve hot with a swirl of cream.
I hope this has given you some ideas of how to use asparagus. There are so many great applications. Don get put off by what you may hear about asparagus, they are a fantastic vegetable and a bit of a treat due to the short season.
I love them so much I even have them chopped into small pieces in a green salad. When young they have a sweet, crunchy, fresh taste. They are full of vitamin K, Vitamin E and A and a great source of foliate. They are also an aphrodisiac so what’s not to like about them really.