The British asparagus season officially runs from the 23rd April to the 21st June – so make the most of it while you can! The name ‘asparagus’ comes from the Persian word for sprout, as the spears force themselves upwards out of the soil at such a fast rate: there are reports of them growing more than 10cm in 24 hours. Stalks should be crisp and firm, with tight, closed buds at the tip. Prepare by bending to find the natural break, then snapping off the woody ends.
Try the stems in a light spring quiche, bake into buttery chorizo and Manchego tarts or toss with peas for this light spring salad. If the weather isn't as expected for spring, we've even got a summer pea minestrone which makes the most of this delicate but delicious vegetable.