The lovely people at Over Farm Market on the outskirts of Gloucester invited me to visit last week and see how they grow their asparagus and then take some home to create some delicious recipes. So this weekend I've been in asparagus heaven, testing (and eating) lots of different recipes! But do remember the British asparagus season only lasts from April-June so get yours quickly.
DIPPY EGG & ASPARAGUS SOLDIERS
Simple and delicious, griddled asparagus soldiers, cooked in olive oil and a pinch of salt with soft boiled eggs (boiled for three minutes in boiling water).
GRIDDLED ASPARAGUS WITH HOLLANDAISE
Griddled asparagus as before but this time served with hollandaise sauce and a few marigold petals.
Ingredients for hollandaise sauce:
4 x large egg yolks
250g unsalted butter
2 table spoons of water
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1. over a very low heat melt the butter, water and egg yolks together whisking at all times (ignore small children, doorbells and the phone!)
2. once the mixture has melted keep mixing and turn up heat to medium (although if it starts to steam turn it down) the sauce should thicken up.
3. once the sauce is thicker stir in the lemon juice and serve straight away over the asparagus.
Top tip: use the egg whites to make a meringue with delicious new season Over Farm strawberries - just about to ripen!
ASPARAGUS & PEA TART
200ml tub of crème fraiche
100ml whole milk
handful of grated cheddar cheese
handful of peas
1. Mix in a bowl the five eggs, crème fraiche, milk, cheese and peas
2. oil a 20cm dish so that the tart doesn't stick
3. add the mixture to the dish - breaking the asparagus spears to fit and pushing the bottoms into the mixture with the peas.
4. bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for 30 minutes or until it stops wobbling in the middle
ASPARAGUS & RICOTTA PIZZA
I use the Hobbs House pizza base recipe to make the base. Then add tomato sauce, half griddled asparagus and ricotta and a little back pepper as a topping - delicious and so quick and easy in a hot oven!
ASPARAGUS FACE MASK
5 asparagus spears - boiled so they're easy to mash
1 tablespoon of honey
1 handful of oats
mix all together and smear on face, leave until beautiful!