By: Sarah    Date: 04/18/14

This year’s asparagus

By: Sarah Date: 04/18/14 Category: Recipes

Asparagus soup

2 knobs of butter

2 glugs of olive oil

1 large leek, finely sliced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 ½ lbs (2kg) asparagus, chopped into ¾” pieces

A pinch of sea salt

A pinch freshly ground black pepper

½ tspn cayenne

32 fl oz (1 ltr) chicken stock

2-4 tblspns double cream

To serve:

Extra asparagus, roasted with a sprinkling of olive oil and salt

Soft boiled eggs

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pan, and add the leek and onion until soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the salt, pepper and stock, bring to the boil and then add the asparagus. This way you keep the vibrant green. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is tender.  Whizz the soup and if you want it extra smooth, put it through a sieve.  Return it to the heat and stir in the double cream. Serve with crusty white bread, a few spears of roast asparagus and two halves of warm soft boiled eggs on the side.

Scrambled eggs with goat’s cheese & asparagus

1 slice of sourdough bread

1 good slug of olive oil

sea salt

4 asparagus spears

½ garlic clove

25g mild goat’s cheese log

2 free-range organic eggs

First make the toast by brushing the bread with olive oil and grilling on both sides. Keep this warm while you make the scrambled eggs. Bring a pan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt, and cook the asparagus for about 3 mins. Drain and cut into 3cm lengths. Put a slug of olive oil into a non-stick pan, add the garlic and cook for 5 mins or so, till it starts to turn golden brown. Add the cheese and asparagus and when the cheese starts to turn creamy, add the eggs and stir until cooked. Serve on the slice of toast, with a branch of roasted vine tomatoes on the side.

Warm asparagus with herb mayonnaise

6-8 asparagus spears per person

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

For the mayonnaise

3 organic free range egg yolks

juice of  lemon

2 tspns Dijon mustard

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

200 ml olive oil

1 tblspn chopped chives

1 tblspn chopped tarragon

1 tblspn chopped flat leaf parsley

1 tblspn chopped basil

50 ml crème fraîche

First make the mayonnaise: put the egg yolks into  the food processor and add the lemon juice, mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whiz briefly to combine, then drizzle in the olive oil slowly until it all emulsifies. Then stir in the herbs and crème fraîche and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Bring a pot of well-salted water to the boil (the salt helps keep the vibrant green colour) while you prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends of the stems. If you want to go for pretty presentation, use a potato peeler to peel the skin of the bottom third of the stem – this gives a nice contrast.  Drop the asparagus into the boiling water, bring back to the boil and cook for no more than a minute, until they are just tender. Drain immediately and serve drizzled with a little olive oil, with a dollop of herb mayonnaise, a wedge of lemon and a chunk of crusty bread.

Warm asparagus with soft boiled eggs and chopped mushrooms

6-8 asparagus spears per person

1 organic free-range egg per person

a handful of chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

Combine the mushrooms in a bowl with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside to cure a bit while you cook the egg and prepare the asparagus as above.  Serve on a warm plate with the mushroom mixed scattered over the asparagus, and the egg cut in half and seasoned with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and another squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with a couple of slices of sourdough toast.