Three Ways With… Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus season is finally here! Make the most of this delicious spring time vegetable with these simple, but effective recipes.

Asparagus Pasta with Lemon
500g pasta, we particularly like to use penne
Knob of butter and 2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and roughly chopped into bitesize pieces
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 onion, peeled and finely diced
200mls dry white wine, or vegetable stock
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp chilli flakes, or one fresh chilli, finely chopped
100g Owd Ewes’ cheese, or Parmesan, grated (optional)
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Serves 4

1) Set the pasta to cook in a large pan of boiling water. Cook according to the instructions on the packet, reserve a ladle of the cooking water, drain and set aside.
2) In the meantime, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add some of the butter along with a teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Fry the asparagus for a couple of minutes, or until the spears are starting to soften. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3) Turn the heat down and add the rest of the butter and rapeseed oil, garlic and onion and cook until soft. Add the white wine (or stock), lemon zest, lemon juice and chilli flakes (or fresh chilli). Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for around 3-4 minutes and until the sauce has reduced.
4) Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, add the pasta water and stir into the sauce to incorporate the starch into the sauce. Add the cooked pasta, asparagus and fresh parsley and stir until the pasta is well coated. Season to taste.
5) Serve with the grated cheese, if using, and a green salad.

Recipe adapted from Judy Kim for Delish.com

Asparagus Benedict
4 very fresh eggs
Knob of butter and 1 tsp rapeseed oil
Bunch of asparagus, trimmed
100g Serrano ham
2 large egg yolks
150g butter
1 dessert spoon white wine vinegar
1 lemon
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
Serves 4

1)Set a wide based pan with around 2-3 inches of water in the bottom over a low to medium heat. As soon as the first bubble forms in the water, gently add the eggs, one by one and allow the water to very gently simmer for 2 minutes. Once the 2 minutes are up, remove from the pan from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water as they finish poaching for 10 minutes.
2) In the meantime, set a frying pan over a medium heat and add the knob of butter along with the teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Once melted, add the asparagus and gently fry until cooked through and tender. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
3) Add the serrano ham to the pan and cook until starting to crisp. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
4) As the asparagus is cooking and the eggs are poaching, start making a hollandaise sauce by whisking the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl.
5) Half fill a pan, big enough for the heatproof bowl to sit comfortably over, with water and bring to a very gentle simmer.
6) Gently melt the 150g butter in another pan and remove from the heat once melted.
7) Now place the bowl with the egg yolks over the pan of gently simmering water. Take care not to allow the water to simmer too quickly, otherwise the eggs may scramble.
8) Whisk the white wine vinegar into the eggs then, whilst continuing to whisk the eggs, slowly drizzle the melted butter in, until it has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce.
9) Remove from the heat, season and whisk in a little lemon juice to loosen the sauce a little.
10)Distribute the asparagus over four plates, season, top with the serrano ham and poached eggs before pouring over the hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.

Asparagus Salad
Bunch of asparagus, trimmed
Tbsp of rapeseed oil
Half a tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed
100g of salad leaves, or fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
50g soft goats’ cheese, such as Yellison’s
20 mls lemon juice
60 mls rapeseed oil
Salt & pepper
Serves 2

1) Place a griddle pan over a high heat.
2) Toss the asparagus in the rapeseed oil, to coat the spears evenly, and season with salt & pepper.
3) Place the asparagus on the griddle pan and cook until tender and charred in places.
4) Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
5) In the meantime, make a dressing by whisking the lemon juice into the rapeseed oil. Season to taste.
6) Place the asparagus and butter beans in a bowl and dress with the lemon dressing, reserving a little to dress the salad.
7) Distribute the salad or spinach leaves across 2 plates, followed by the beans and the asparagus.
8) Finally crumble the goats’ cheese over each plate and serve with the rest of the dressing and some crusty bread.

For more seasonal recipes check out our other Three Ways With posts.

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