3 Ways With Asparagus

April marks the peak of the asparagus season in my garden, and on farms across the UK, I’ll be savouring them, because the season is short and by June, the spears (which are actually shoots) will have gone on to become the beautiful asparagus ferns that billow gracefully in the corner of our kitchen garden.

There they’ll stay for the summer, charging up the roots with energy ready for next season (with the exception of a few stems, which I use for flower arranging.

I use asparagus in so many different recipes, but here I have included my absolute favourite, and very simple, ways to eat it.


CHARGRILLED ASPARAGUS
INGREDIENTS

1 bunch of asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for grilling
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
zest of half a lemon, plus juice to taste
salt and pepper
toasted, flaked almonds to serve

METHOD

Prepare a dressing by combining approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon zest and juice (I simply add all the ingredients to a clean jar and give them a good shake). Season to taste.

Brush the asparagus spears with a little olive oil, then chargrill until tender and charred.

Pour dressing over asparagus and scatter with toasted flaked almonds.


SIMPLE ASPARAGUS SALAD
INGREDIENTS

 1/2 bunch asparagus
baby gem lettuce
rocket
radishes
cucumber
dressing (see recipe above)

METHOD

Simply put together a salad with all the vegetables listed above – this is one of my favourite combinations, but obviously you can use any salad ingredients you like or have in the fridge.

Use a vegetable peeler to shred the asparagus and toss into the salad.

Dress with the lemony dressing.


ASPARAGUS FRITTATA
INGREDIENTS

100g asparagus
4 eggs
handful of peas, cooked
handful of broad beans, cooked
salt and pepper
oil or butter for cooking
fresh mint, or herbs of your choice to serve

METHOD

Trim the tips off the asparagus and finely slice the rest of the stem (not the woody part).

In an ovenproof pan, sauté the stems with the peas and broad beans in a little oil or butter for a couple of minutes.

Add 4 beaten, seasoned, eggs and top with the asparagus tips.

Cook on the hob for a few mins then put in the oven to cook the centre.

Sprinkle with herbs to serve, I use a few mint leaves.

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