Friday, 1 May 2009

Spear it a thought

BRITNEY may be the new comeback kid, but now there's a new Spears on the block.
Fresher, younger and free from the constraints of destructive relationship with a loser like K-Fed, Asparagus Spears is now rocking our world.
The vitamin-packed veggie is back in season and I, for one, am delighted.
I called into Gwillam's Farm Shop, in Worcester, last night where they were selling big bunches of the stuff for £2.50.
It had been grown just down the road in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, and looked irresistible.
The asparagus season is shorter than Britney Spears' legs (without Photoshop) so take advantage of it while it lasts...

Here are my top five favourite ways to cook it:
  1. Steam it lightly over boiling water, then serve it simply with a bit of Maldon rock salt, extra virgin olive oil and shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese
  2. Add it to a risotto near to the end of cooking. Tastes great with other green vegetables in a Risotto Primavera, or with chicken and lemon zest/juice for something more hearty
  3. Lightly cooked and then dipped into the runny yolk of a poached, or boiled egg
  4. Roasted in the oven with other veggies, such as peppers, then dipped into a feta cheese dip (blend feta cheese, dash of milk, olive oil and salt and pepper to make a smoothish puree)
  5. Stuffed inside a chicken breast, along with goats' cheese or mozzarella, then roasted to perfection
What is your favourite way to eat asparagus? Let me know....
Click on this link for more details on the forthcoming asparagus festival

12 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

Great ideas. Have you ever tried it raw? Its not bad that way either. It tastes really fresh and very different from the cooked version. I guess in that form it could make great crudite with dips and stuff :)

Mrs Woffington said...

My mouth is watering! I love asparagus, and we usually get it in the market in Lichfield (supplied by these people www.newfarmproduce.co.uk). I think it's difficult to improve on risotto as an accompaniment.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Thanks for reading both. I haven't had asparagus raw but I'd definitely give it a try.

Thanks for the tip on the supplier (tip - no pun intended). Will look them up!

realfoodlover said...

I had the best asparagus ever from Wrington Greens, one of Bristol's many wonderful local organic growers.

Harvested that morning and picked young, you could eat it raw because it was so tender.

I think you can't beat it steamed.

But baked in the oven with parmesan and olive oil sounds nice-and-easy and useful when the stalks get woody.

realfoodlover said...

I really love the Britney analogy by the way!

Love it.

Emily said...

Thanks for reading RealFoodLover. I noticed that you posted a lovely asparagus recipe too. You can't beat it when it's really fresh, can you?

Thinspired said...

I think asparagus is one of my favorite green veggies :) I am never that adventerous with it, though. Steaming or roasting is usually as fancy as it gets. I love the idea of asparagus risotto!

Emily said...

Hi Lara. Risotto is a great use for asparagus. The veggie cooks just perfectly if you add it towards the end of cooking and is a great partner with the creaminess of the parmesan.

Daz said...

Lovely Stuff!!

Favourite way was introduced to me by my partners - sounds very wrong - but it just works!

Saute in butter (plenty it becomes part of the sauce) and add in some balsamic - letting it get thick and sticky coating the stems. Messy eating though¬

Emily said...

wow daz. that sounds right up my street. I am a sucker for balsamic vinegar AND butter. What a delicious sounding combination! Thanks

rich said...

Steamed, not for too long though, arrange elegantly on a plate (large, white, naturally), drizzle (and that's the only word that will do) with hollandaise sauce. Perfect. Some crispy bacon on the side would be very welcome.

Britney...spears...I see what you did there. very good.