I believe that British asparagus heralds a fresh new year of delicious fruit & vegetables. Gone is the season of roots & onions, in come the luscious greens, purples…and various other colours if our veg plot is anything to go by. Once asparagus is here I know I won’t have to wait long until the strawberries begin to appear. Asparagus, along with strawberries, are in the same list as purple sprouting broccoli and raspberries in that we try to only eat them when they are in season – 1) we appreciate it more and 2) I find it tastes better, especially when you can pick them from your garden or have a fantastic grower & supplier on your doorstep. With asparagus there is a significant difference in taste from freshly picked variants to others that have been hanging around for a few days. Freshly picked asparagus has a surprisingly sweet taste that soon diminishes once picked. Just in the way peas do.
According to Wikipedia:
Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.
Who would have thought you could cram so much good stuff into a humble green (or sometimes white) vegetable?
Now, I will openly admit I’m not a huge fan of asparagus; I can take it or leave it. Hubs however, along with his parents, are obsessed with it. Father-in-Law is attempting to grow it and this year we are growing the curious sounding Asparagus Peas.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been waiting for asparagus to appear. After buying a ludicrously priced bunch of Litchfield asparagus a few weeks ago, which was frankly old and woody, we were glad to be tipped off that Scaddows Farm had some of their home-grown asparagus in stock. This is the second year we have bought asparagus from them and I can say it’s the best we’ve found. Scaddows is also great for the PYO part of the farm that opens in June and continues late into the season. Aside from the asparagus it’s berry-lover and preserver heaven!
Although the asparagus season is short we make up for it by eating it in as many ways possible:
- for dipping in eggs
- as an ingredient in a tart or frittata
- with a hollandaise sauce
- or Hubs’ favourite way – plain and simply fresh from the field.
So, how do you eat your asparagus?