Sunday, 11 May 2014

'Tis the Season...Asparagus!

Fresh, British asparagus is one of my favourite things on this earth. I get far too excited when I see it start popping up on stalls in the London markets. This is one vegetable that should not be messed about with in my opinion. Simplicity is key. My favourite way to eat it is boiled or steamed until just tender (over-cooking is such a crime), and then served with melted butter, salt, a grind of black pepper, and crusty bread to mop it all up. It's the perfect starter or light lunch.

That being said, I do love asparagus in a salad, quiche or frittata...I mean I love it done any way really. But when it's as fresh and gorgeous as it is at the moment, I don't like to mess around too much. You just don't need to. It's also packed full of nutrients and vitamins apparently, so you can feel good about yourself whilst eating it...(just ignore all the essential butter, bread...salt...). That's got to be a plus.

Happiness is...this small asparagus stall on the side of the road.

At my family home in Norfolk, we are lucky enough to have a small asparagus farm, Goddard's, right on our doorstep near Redgrave. This consists of a small unmanned stall on the side of the road, with an honesty box, and boxes of asparagus picked that day. What could be better than buying a bunch of asparagus for £2 from a tiny stall on the side of the road, whilst actually being able to see it growing in the next field. Heaven. This is the best asparagus I've tasted, probably because it couldn't be fresher unless I actually grew it myself (one day...).

Fresh honey on sale too

Would this whole box be the best birthday present ever? Probably.

 Asparagus with DIY Hollandaise Egg  


Asparagus with eggs is a classic. Poached or boiled, it makes a great lunch, especially with a bit of hollandaise sauce. This is a recipe (if you can call it that) which aims to cut out the fuss of making hollandaise. The idea is that your turn your normal boiled egg into a DIY hollandaise sauce, by adding a couple of drops of white wine vinegar, and a little knob of butter, right into the top of your boiled egg once you've cracked the lid off it. Then just dip your buttered asparagus right in there! It's quite a fun little trick, totally delicious and a bit indulgent. 

DIY hollandaise and asparagus with soldiers of course

 So if you haven't embraced the asparagus season yet, I recommend you do so asap. It's the easiest thing in the world to cook, it has a flavour like nothing else, and is good for you (I mean, I'm clearly not really into health food, but it's an added bonus). So go and support our fantastic British asparagus farms and traders everyone!