Asparagus season ranges from the end of April to the middle of June and supermarkets across the UK are stocking their shelves in abundance!
It’s not an easy veg to grow and is very labour-intensive, they come from the young shoot of a cultivated lily plant and are considered to be one of the finer delicacies of the vegetable world.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
- Good source of Vitamin K. Asparagus is high in vitamin K, which is the blood clotting vitamin.
- Contains Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant properties.
- Nourishes the digestive tract.
- Good source of fibre
- Helps fight cancer.
How can you cook Asparagus?
It’s very easy to cook, simply place the asparagus into a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss it in the bowl to coat the spears. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake in a preheated oven until just tender with a slight crunch. Alternatively, why not try our super spring salad, it’s simply bursting with the fresh flavours of spring and the perfect meal for a sun-soaked day.
Ingredients (Based on 4 servings)
- 12 Jersey Royal potatoes
- 10 green asparagus spears, sliced on an angle
- 150g/5½oz young broad beans, podded
- 150g/5½oz peas, podded
- 150g/5½oz fresh or frozen soy beans
- 3 spring onions, sliced on an angle
- drizzle of olive oil
- 4 purple asparagus spears, sliced using a peeler
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 shallots, cut into rings
- 15 mint leaves, 10 torn, 5 shredded
- small bunch of chervil
- handful watercress
- punnet of pea shoots
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
- 1 table spoon of Dijon mustard
- 5 table spoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 table spoon of walnut oil
- 300ml/10½oz extra virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the potatoes, drain and carefully slice in half.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the green asparagus, broad beans, peas, soy beans and spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop them cooking but not to cool them.
- Spread on a tray with the potatoes. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Put the purple asparagus in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt to cure and soften.
- For the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a bowl, slowly adding the oils. It should have a thick consistency, like a sauce. Season with a good amount of salt and black pepper.
- Mix all of the vegetables with the shallots, mint, chervil, watercress and pea shoots and pour over the dressing.
- Divide between four plates and dig in.
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Recipe courtesy of the BBC