I am very lucky to live in the heart of asparagus country – and even more within walking distance of a lovely farm shop which grows its own. By the time I have walked there, bought and walked back I have more than justified the butter that simply has to go on it! There are lots of ways to eat this delicious vegetable other than just boil and serve, – from risottos to soups (our farm shop sells bits that have come off when picking which is ideal for soup so ask your local shop) to using cooked stalks to dip into runny boiled eggs. Try wrapping parma ham around each stalk and putting under a hot grill for a few moments. Make the most of the British season – it is all too short!
Salmon Rolls with Asparagus and Butter Sauce
- 2 thick or 4 thin asparagus spears
- 1 thin salmon fillet
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 3 peppercorns
- 60 mls white wine
- 2 tablespoons double cream
- 100g butter, cut into small cubes
- fresh parsley
Steam the asparagus for 6 – 8 minutes till tender, refresh under cold running water. Lay on top of the salmon fillet and roll up. Place on a rack over a pan of boiling water, sprinkle with lemon juice, cover and steam for 3 – 4 minutes till tender (I use one of those cheap bamboo steamers on top of a saucepan). Sauce: Put the shallot, peppercorns and wine into a small saucepan and heat gently until the wine is reduced to a tablespoonful. Strain and return to the pan. Add the cream and bring to the boil then lower the heat. Add the butter to the sauce in small pieces, whisking all the time. DO NOT ALLOW THE SAUCE TO BOIL AS IT WILL SEPARATE! Season to taste, add a little parsley and serve with the salmon roll, some new potatoes and tenderstem broccoli and/or spinach.
Green baked eggs with asparagus
- 1 – 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 200g asparagus , cut into 4 cm lengths
- 2-3 salad onions, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 pointed spring (sweetheart) cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 green chilli, sliced
- few drops lemon juice
- 10 grams feta cheese (or as much as you like!)
- 2 eggs
Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add some oil, season the asparagus and fry, turning now and then, until slightly charred, for about 3 minutes. Take out and set aside. Lower the heat and add remaining oil, cooking the onions and garlic for a minute. Add the cabbage and chilli and fry for 3 – 4 minutes, turning regularly. Add lemon juice, some feta and the asparagus. Turn heat to medium-low. Make 2 holes in the mix and crack in the eggs and leave to for about 5 minutes till the white is set but yolks still soft. Serve with some sourdough toast to mop up!