Asparagus – how do you eat yours?

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:

So, how do you eat your asparagus?



0 thoughts on “Asparagus – how do you eat yours?”

  • Oh love asaparagus . First bought locally grown at grocers for 1.50, it’s now 79p. They get it in fresh everyday from local farm. The grocer remarked that I have been buying a lot, having it in everything including but for me a revelation is stir frys , lovely with chilli garlic and soy sauce. I saw a interesting version replacing sausages for a vege toad in the hole.

  • Those spears of asparagus look wonderful. I have mine simply fried with some olive oil and lemon juice, and use them as an added extra to a summer salad. It was heaven!

    I think the simplest recipes are always the best when you have great ingredients like fresh British asparagus :)

  • Firstly, Asparagus Peas – don’t bother! They are the most over-rated veg ever, stringy pithy nasty little bits of nothing!

    There, I feel better now!

    Asparagus, I was probably weaned on the stuff as my family grew it on an epic scale so we ate it morning noon and night for two whole months! (Even the cat ate it.) Always boiled in bunches and served with a white (bechamel) sauce and with or without malt vinegar.

    I wasn’t put off, and still love it – but only ever buy the English grown spears. And I now grow my own too – fresh is by far the best!

    Love it with a softly poached fresh hens egg on top. Field to plate time 10 mins max – heaven!!!!

    Celia

  • hello i have just seen this post on the blog of small things and came straight over so i could tell you that i lightly trim the ends and then chargrill them on a ridged pan so they are scorched in places, they’re so juicy and i like to have them served simply with some maldon salt & mayonnaise, esp homemade mayonnaise. i NEVER ever put them anywhere near water.

  • I love asparagus and have always just grilled it but this time we followed some tips on quickly blanching it before placing on the griddle pan and they were perfect. Wrapped in proscuitto and topped off with a poached egg is just delicious! See my blog post at http://comidayvidauk.blogspot.com

    Also, if you picked up some asparagus from New farm at Lichfield and were disappointed I can only say you must have been unlucky as we had some this week and they were fresh and tasted lovely!

  • coated in an egg wash, and covered in a parmessan breadcrumb mixture, then roasted and when it’s time to eat it, dipped in a yummy fire roasted tomato sauce.

  • I grilled it the other day just before midnight, put Blacksticks blue cheese on top and put it back under the grill to gratinate. So good.

    Never heard of asparagus peas – will have to look out. Years since we tried growing our own. No good for the first year, needs quite a bit of attention, but so worth it.

  • I love it steamed with a little butter and black pepper, or in dippy eggs. I haven’t had any yet this year, but am going to try and get some fresh and local while I’m in Lincoln at the weekend. *fingers crossed* London has a dearth of any that’s not supermarket supplied :-(

  • I usually go with risotto too. I saw “asparagus in the hole” on Market kitchen the other night (yorkshire pudding with herbs in the batter and aspargus instead of sausage), think I may give it a go.

  • I love asparagus, and tend to gorge on it when it is in season :)
    It’s delicious just steamed with butter, but I do like it in risotto as well.

  • I love asparagus too. I enjoy as much as I can for this short period they are in season. Asparagus quiche one of my favourite & of course risotto or just cook them in the oven with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper little bit of brown sugar

  • I bbq mine! Just toss it with olive oil and sea salt…and onto the grill! Flip at midway point. Its they only way we eat it in this house!!!

    jenn

    aka jennmet on twitter :)

  • I love it simply blanched, served with olive oil and lemon juice, a slice of parma ham and a grating of manchego and parmesan (how I had it today for my lunch!)

    But I also want to try it baked with parmesan crumbs and in a tart with bacon…

  • Isn’t it wonderful? I’ve got a new fav way to do it, wrapping in feuilles de brick (like filo). Post is going up tomorrow.

  • Love mine simply dipped in a runny egg yolk!

    Jules I’ve given you a happiness and sunshine award, nip over to my blog to pick it up!

  • I had asparagus risotto last week-end, gorgeous!
    A quick and simple recipy:
    – Fry some onion and garlic in a pot with olive oil
    – Add asparagus cut in small pieces (not the heads) and let them cook for a few minutes
    – Add the rice and cook it for a couple of minutes
    – Add chicken stock soup and let it boil for 40ish minutes regularly stiring it so that it doesn’t stick in the pot
    – 10 min before it’s ready add the asparagus heads – this is the secret!!! So that the heads will not be overcooked and you will still enjoy their tenderness!
    – if you want to have a creamy effect add a piece of butter or a piece of soft cheddar before serving!

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