Summer Time?

I should be writing this in warm sunshine or, at worst, soft summer rain – but, instead, it’s gale force winds and biblical rainstorms! Just as we are getting back to normal, the weather decides to be abnormal! It’s very fortunate that we can now meet up with friends inside or we would all be drookit (as we say in Scotland)!

There are usually some silver linings to be found somewhere, though, and mine are the arrival of British asparagus and Jersey Royal potatoes. The potatoes have been grown on the island for 140 years and today there are approximately 20 island farmers who grow them (and often no other crops) on approximately 7,300 acres and can only be grown on Jersey to have the name. As for the asparagus, I am very lucky to live in the Valley of Evesham, one of the homes of British asparagus. I know you can buy this most of the year from abroad – but The Husband and I try to eat seasonally and locally and I urge you to do the same both for flavour and to support your next-door farmers. My two recipes below are thus using 2 British stalwarts – but with a twist!

Coconut Potato Bowl with Lime and Ginger

  • 100g (or as much as you like) Jersey Royal potatoes, roughly chopped
  •  75g cauliflower florets
  •  1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  •  Sea salt and pepper
  •  50g (or as much as you like) asparagus
  •  ½ tsp olive oil
  •  6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  •  1 spring onion, sliced
  •  500g superfood salad
  •  15g coconut flakes, toasted , to garnish

Dressing;    1 tbsp olive oil      finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime             1 cm grated ginger

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Place the potatoes and cauliflower florets in a roasting tray, drizzle over the coconut oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes until tender and beginning to brown. In the meantime, prepare everything else; brush the asparagus with ½ tsp olive oil, heat a griddle pan until hot and cook the stems until charred and tender. Set aside. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil and lime juice, then stir in the zest and ginger and season with some salt and pepper. To assemble, arrange the potatoes and cauliflower to one side and place the other ingredients round the bowl (or how you prefer), drizzle with the dressing and scatter over the coconut flakes, or serve on the side.

CRAB AND ASPARAGUS WITH THAI MAYONNAISE

  • 4 Asparagus spears ) this recipe is still for one but obviously you can increase
  • 125g crab meat        ) these amounts depending on how much you love them!
  • large slice of sourdough bread
  • olive oil
  • handful of rocket leaves (as you may know I eat spinach nearly every day so you could use this instead)
  • 2 tablespoons of good mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 red chilli
  • freshly grated zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (if this is the first time you have used it please don’t be put off by the smell – it tastes much better!)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander

Cook the asparagus in boiling water for 2 – 4 minutes, drain and refresh under cold running water. Stir the garlic, chilli, zest, fish sauce and coriander into the mayonnaise.  Season if necessary, fold in the crab meat and set aside.  Toast the bread, drizzle with olive oil and scatter over rocket or spinach leaves. Pile the crab mixture on top. Toss the cold asparagus spears in a little olive oil and arrange over the crab meat.

Alternatively, you could cook LOTS of  asparagus and serve, on the side,  hot with lashings butter – using any left over toast to soak up the juices.

potatoes
asparagus

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