Posted 11th May 2012 by Caroline Gosney
They say all good things come to those who wait, well, after a whole year of doing just that, the British asparagus season is finally upon us. Lasting just two months, it's certainly short and sweet, so it's best to make the most of it. If like us at Real Food HQ, your strategy is to eat enough of the little green stems to keep you going for the rest of the year, you might like to venture beyond the more traditional methods of cooking it.
There's more to asparagus than meets the eye. It's not only comfortable in its usual guise of parma ham or hollandaise sauce. Oh no, it's hugely versatile, a renaissance vegetable, if you will... plus, packed with folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C it's a welcome addition to your five a day.
Of course, asparagus and salmon are a match made in food heaven, so why keep them apart? Add a little spice to the relationship with this Salmon and Asparagus Fajitas recipe. With the added zing of cumin and cayenne pepper it makes for a fun (and quick!) mid-week meal.
At this time of year, along with our little green friends, there's a whole host of fresh and fabulous vegetables in season. This Early Summer Risotto has broad beans, peas and spinach sharing the stage with asparagus and makes an impressive, yet refreshingly easy, dinner party dish. Just add a crisp glass of white, close your eyes and transport yourself to sunnier climes!
Talking of which, if some Spring like weather finally kicks in (we live in hope!), dust off the barbecue and pop your asparagus on it for a light and smoky flavour. Simply delicious on its own with just a drizzle of olive oil and some seasoning. The perfect accompaniment to some alfresco dining... fingers crossed!
If, on the other hand, something altogether more comforting and warming is in order, this Pea and Asparagus Soup is packed full of fresh spring flavours and will do just the trick. Why not make up a batch to enjoy for a few mid-week lunches?
Asparagus adds a certain luxury to all sorts of dishes but, it has to be said, sometimes nothing beats simply serving it steamed with a touch of melted butter, salt and pepper. Quick, healthy and incredibly tasty.