‘Gras! (Asparagus)The Food of the Gods!

So the Asparagus Season has drawn to a close. Working it out, between St. Georges Day and now, P and I have eaten about 8 kg of it!

Our favourite ways of eating it?

  1. Steamed, with Hollandaise Sauce.
  2. Wrapped around with a slice of parma ham, and grilled.
  3. Asparagus Tart
  4. Asparagus Fritata
  5. Asparagus Soup
  6. Other uses

Never just “Cut the end off”. Just bend the stalk in two, and it will snap. The harder bit goes for soup, and the tender bit for eating as soon as possible.

Keep it in the fridge and use as soon as possible It WILL keep a few days.

We always get “Thin” stalks, or Sprue. It is sold by the weight, so you don’t lose out. The thin bits, we find tenderer and tastier.

Traditionally, the season starts on St George’s Day, April 18th, and finishes on Midsummer’s Day, 21st. June. If you cut after midsummer, you are “cutting next year’s crop”

Recipes

Steamed, with Hollandaise Sauce.

Note: I HAVE made Hollandaise Sauce from scratch, but at my time of life it is easier, and pretty well just as good to buy it in jars. Either way, it’s lovely.

  • We use a bamboo steamer, and work on about 25 thin stems a person.
  • Any steamer will do, or even a sieve over a pan of gently boiling water.
  • Steam for between 5 – 8 minutes. Serve and smother the ends with Hollandaise. If no Hollandaise, butter is pretty good too.

Asparagus and Parma Ham / Prosciutto.

  • Wrap 2 or 3 stalks in a slice of ham.
  • When all your stalks are wrapped, place in a grill pan and grill for about 8 minutes, turning frequently. Don’t let them burn.
  • You can also place on a baking tray, and in a hot oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Hollandaise sauce is also wonderful with these.

Asparagus Tart

  • Half a pack of Puff Pastry
  • 4 Portions of Asparagus
  • 3 oz / 70 gm Grated Parmezan
  • 2 Cups Plain Yoghurt
  • 1 Cup Crème Fraiche
  • 3 Eggs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Set your oven to 180 deg.

Asparagus Frittata

Allow the frozen pastry to soften – about 2 hours at room temperature.

Roll out to fit a small baking tin or flan dish.

Prick the base with a fork.

Sprinkle over two thirds of the parmesan.

Blanch your asparagus for 1 minute in boiling water, or steam for 2-3 minutes.

Arrange your asparagus in your flan dish / tin

Beat the yoghurt, Crème Fraiche and 3 eggs together. Season.

Pour over the asparagus.

Sprinkle top with remaining parmesan.

  • 2 or 3 portions of asparagus
  • 4 or 5 new potatoes (Asparagus season is pretty well the same as Jersey Royal season – a match made in heaven!) Cut into half or quarters if wished.
  • 1 large onion, chopped.
  • 50 gm of grated parmesan or cheddar. (both work well)
  • 4 – 6 eggs.
  • Proportions and quantities are variable depending on what you have available and how hungry you are.

Gently fry the onion in olive oil until transparent. Do not allow to brown.

Boil the new potatoes for about 5 minutes.

Steam or blanch your asparagus over the potatoes for the last minute or so,

Add the potatoes and stir.

Arrange the asparagus over the top.

Season well.

Beat the eggs with half the cheese.

Pour over the asparagus and shake gently to distribute the beaten eggs.

Cook gently on top of the stove until the eggs start to set, then place under a hot grill for 5 minutes to brown the top.

Great with a salad!

Asparagus Soup

We use our collected trimmings of asparagus, plus – sometimes, a few tips to finish.

  • About 1 lb / 450 gm asparagus.(trimmings or whole)
  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large onion.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon double cream
  • Salt & pepper

Chop the onion and fly slowly in a small amount of olive oil until transparent. Do not allow to brown.

Cut the asparagus trimmings into short lengths (1 cm).

Add stock to the onion and asparagus trimmings

Cook gently for an hour.

Season as required.

At this point, we use a “Magic Wand” to blend the soup, and then pass it through a sieve.

Return to a gentle heat.

Add a tablespoon of double cream to finish!

And, also..

Blanch any odd spears, and add to a Salad Niçoise, to Scrambled Eggs or an Omelette! All delicious.

And finally, a big thank-you to Rich and Ronnie Morritt, of Sand Hutton Asparagus for growing the stuff to such a great standard!! #sandhuttonasparagus #yorkshireasparagus #britishasparagus #ifcarlsberggrewasparagus