Author Archives: fitzski

British Asparagus and Crab Linguine, with a Parsley and Lemon Butter Sauce

British asparagus and crab linguine, with a parsley and lemon butter sauce

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes

You’ll need
300g dried linguine
1 tbsp olive oil
2 freshly dressed crabs (meat taken out of the shells)
1 bundle of British asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
100g of butter
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 onion peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
50ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, juiced

What to do

Cook the linguine in plenty of boiling salted water for approximately 10-12 minutes. Drain the majority of the water and add the olive oil, stir through the pasta and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauté pan, add the onion and asparagus and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sweat over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes then add the chilli and garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the crab along with the vegetable stock and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley, chives and lemon juice then add the pasta and make sure all the ingredients are mixed together thoroughly. Season if necessary to taste and serve immediately.

Cook’s tip: Leave a little bit of the cooking water in the pasta to prevent the linguine from sticking together. If you don’t happen to have any chives then an alternative could be to use the tops of spring onions finely chopped.

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British Asparagus and Spinach Soup Topped with Chive Crème Fraiche

British asparagus and spinach soup topped with chive crème fraiche

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15- 20 minutes

You’ll need

12 stems of asparagus stems removed and finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
50g of unsalted butter
1 medium white onion diced
1 clove of garlic crushed
800ml of vegetable stock
100g of spinach
4 tbsp of crème fraiche (1 tbsp per soup portion)
2 tbsp of freshly chopped chives

What to do:

Prepare the asparagus by removing the hard stems (keep four of the asparagus heads for garnishing the soup) then finely chop the rest.

Place a saucepan on the heat, add a little olive oil and the butter, then add the diced onion and garlic sweat for 5 minutes on a low heat.

Now add the chopped asparagus and continue to sweat for another couple of minutes, add the vegetable stock bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add your spinach to the soup and simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and put into a blender and blitz in batches.

Once the soups blended put through a sieve to remove any lumps, mix your crème fraiche with the chopped chives and a touch of salt and pepper to taste.

To serve pour your hot soup into the bowl, place a spoonful of the chive crème fraiche on top of the soup and the asparagus head on top of the crème fraiche.

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Quick Microwave Hollandaise Sauce To Serve With Asparagus

Quick Microwave Hollandaise Sauce To Serve With Asparagus

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 minutes

You’ll need:

3 Egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
250g melted butter
1 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1 tbsp double cream
Sea Salt and White Pepper

What to do:

1. Mix the egg yolks with the lemon juice in a microwavable bowl stirring well. Then using a whisk slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter whisking constantly.
2. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat the mixture for 15 seconds onhigh, then whisk well, then repeat for a further 2 times. The mixture will have thickened, keep whisking and add the mayonnaise and cream.
3. Adjust the seasoning and serve with freshly cooked asparagus spears. Hot Tips This hollandaise is also delicious when finely chopped chives or finely chopped roasted red pepper and basil leaves are added.

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British Asparagus, Watercress and Pan Roasted Cherry Tomato Risotto

British asparagus, watercress and pan roasted cherry tomato risotto

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes
Cost per person: £1.93

You’ll need

4 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots finely chopped
2 garlic cloves sliced
2 bundles of asparagus trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
100g red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
200g risotto rice
1 small glass of white wine
1ltr hot chicken or vegetable stock,
2 bunches of watercress roughly chopped
50g lightly salted butter, cut into cubes
50g grated Parmesan
salt and cracked black pepper

What to do

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the shallots and garlic. Sweat for 10 minutes until the shallots and garlic turn translucent without any colour.

While the shallots and garlic are cooking, heat a medium sized frying pan, add the rest of the oil. When the oil stars to smoke add the asparagus and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, cook for a 30 seconds or until the tomatoes start to wilt slightly, then remove from the heat and set aside.

By now the onions should be ready, stir in the rice and keep cooking and stirring until the rice has also turned translucent, then add the wine and simmer until it has reduced by half.

Now start to add the hot stock, stirring the rice every now and then until the stock is absorbed. Keep adding the stock a little at a time until the rice is cooked with a slight bite to it. About 20 minutes.

When the rice is cooked, stir in the watercress, asparagus and tomatoes. Remove from the heat and add the butter and half of the parmesan, season with salt and pepper.

Serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with the rest of the parmesan.

Wine recommendation: Dawn Davies, Sommelier at Selfridges in London suggests the following wine to go with this recipe:Pinot Grigio Pavia Pasque –Majestic Wines

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Baked British Asparagus, Pancetta and Black Pudding Salad

Baked British asparagus, pancetta and black pudding salad

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

You’ll need

for the salad
100g smoked pancetta
4 pieces black pudding, sliced 1-2cm thick
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 medium organic free range eggs mixed salad leaves
2 bundles British asparagus oil for frying salt and pepper for seasoning

for the dressing
1 tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp honey

What to do

In a little oil fry the smoked pancetta until golden then remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen paper. In the same oil fry the black pudding for 7-8 minutes turning once.

Place the asparagus on a tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in an oven preheated to 200°c / 180°c fan for 6-8 minutes turning once.

Meanwhile, in a deep pan bring some water up to a rolling boil, add the white wine vinegar and crack in the eggs. Turn off the heat and leave to cook for 6-7 minutes for a runny yolk, remove from the water and drain any excess water on some kitchen paper.

Whisk up the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey and season with a small pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.

Place a small handful of salad leaves on a plate along with the asparagus and the black pudding, top with the poached egg, scatter over the pancetta then drizzle over the dressing.

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BBQ Rib Eye Steak with Grilled British Asparagus and Teriyaki Sauce

BBQ rib eye steak with grilled British asparagus and teriyaki sauce

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

You’ll need

for the Teriyaki sauce
75ml soy sauce
75ml mirin, Japanese sweet rice wine
75ml sake
1 tbsp sugar

for the rest
2 x 150g rib eye steaks
1 tbsp vegetable oil plus a dash more for cooking the British asparagus sea salt and black pepper
1 packet of British asparagus, trimmed of woody ends a pinch of Togerashi seasoning (optional, you could use cayenne pepper)
White and black sesame seeds to serve

What to do

To make the Teriyakisauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir the mixture well. Put it on medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for a couple minutes. Stop the heat and cool the mixture. It’s now ready to use but if you have any left you can store the sauce in a clean bottle in the fridge.

Heat a griddle pan until really hot and almost smoking. Rub the steaks with the oil, salt and pepper. Griddle the steaks for 2 minutes on each side so that they’re medium rare. Leave to rest.

While the beef is resting rub the British asparagus with a little oil then lay on the griddle and grill for 2-3 minutes, turning every now and then until they start to soften but still have bite and have little chars on them.

Split the asparagus between two plates. Carve the steaks into 1cm strips and lay on top of the Asparagus pouring over the meat juices left from resting. Cover each steak with a few tablespoons of Teriyakisauce and sprinkle with the Togerashi if using and sesame seeds.

  • A hearty steak is a good way to get essential protein and iron, cut back on the fat and saturated fat by choosing a lean steak and trimming off all visible fat

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British Asparagus & Cheese Brunch Muffins

British asparagus & cheese brunch muffins

Makes: 12 large muffins

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 – 30 minutes

You’ll need:
12 spears of British asparagus
400g self raising flour
200g Cheshire cheese, cut into small cubes
125g butter
1 small bunch chives, snipped into pieces
150ml milk
100ml plain yogurt
1tsp English mustard
2 eggs
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
2. Cut the asparagus stems into small pieces, about 1cm in length, leaving the tips a little longer and blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water, separating the tips from the pieces of stem.
3. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the cubes of cheese.
4. Melt the butter and pour into a jug. Stir through the chives, milk, yogurt, Suffolk Mud mustard and eggs. Mix well until combined and season generously with salt & pepper.
5. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour & cheese, and stir through the asparagus stems. Be careful not to over mix and stop as soon as the mixture is combined.
6. Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases and push an asparagus tip into the middle of each. Bake in the oven from 25-30 minutes until golden. Best eaten hot out of the oven, spread with a little cold butter.

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British Asparagus and Pea Risotto with Lemon and Crème Fraiche

British asparagus and pea risotto with lemon and crème fraiche

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

You’ll need

600ml chicken or vegetable stock
25g butter
4 spring onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ green chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
150g arborio rice
½ glass of white wine half a bundle (approx. 125g) British asparagus
100g British peas
2 tbsp grated parmesan
3 tbsp crème fraiche
juice and zest of 1 small lemon
handful of chives, chopped finely

What to do

Place the stock on a slow heat and keep it there whilst you are making your risotto.

In a separate large pan melt the butter and then add the spring onions, garlic and chilli and sweat until soft for 5 minutes.

Then add the arborio rice and mix round well so it absorbs all the flavours and is well coated in butter, before adding the white wine.

When the white wine has been absorbed, add the British asparagus spears and start adding ladleful by ladleful of stock, adding the next one when the one before has been absorbed.

After 15 minutes of continual stirring and adding the stock, taste and adjust the seasoning and then add the peas. After a further 5 minutes turn the heat off, add the parmesan and crème fraiche, lemon zest and juice and let them melt in before serving and finishing off with some chopped chives.

  • Tone down the ‘red lights’ by swapping the butter for olive oil and using less and stirring in half fat crème fraiche!
  • Then enjoy this recipe as an occasional choice if you’re cutting down on fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt e.g. for people who generally wish to eat more healthily or people who have raised cholesterol levels or diabetes
  • A good way to get one of your 5-a-day

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British Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Salad with a Pepper Dressing

British asparagus and smoked salmon salad with a pepper dressing

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

You’ll need

for the salad
1 pack (approx. 125g) British asparagus tips
135g watercress and salad leaves
100g smoked salmon
2 pre-cooked beetroots, cut into eighths
black pepper to season
juice of 1 lemon

for the dressing
3 tbsp horseradish cream
2 tbsp yoghurt
1 tsp white wine vinegar

What to do

Place the British asparagus tips into a pan of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile assemble the salad leaves and watercress onto 2 small plates and lay on the smoked salmon.

Add the beetroot. Then drain the British asparagus tips and lay on top of the salad.

Finally mix the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad with lots of black pepper over the top. Finish with the lemon juice.

  • This recipe is suitable for people who are aiming to cut down on fat, saturated fat and sugar in their diet e.g. people who generally wish to eat more healthily or people who have raised cholesterol levels or diabetes, although watch out for the salt content which is high because of the smoked salmon
  • It is a good choice for people watching their weight too
  • Combine with a chunk of granary bread for that all important energy food
  • A good way to get two of your ‘5-a-day’

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British Asparagus Cigars

British Asparagus Cigars

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 16 sharing

You’ll need:
2 bundles of British asparagus
4 sheets of ready-made filo pastry
50g butter melted
2 handfuls of finely grated parmesan
Salt
Black pepper

What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 190°c

Cook the asparagus in well salted water, cooking it for only 1 – 2 minutes once it has come back to the boil.

Drain and cool the asparagus in cold water then drain again, making sure it’s thoroughly dry with a tea towel.

Cut the asparagus 2/3 of the way down, either discarding the lower stem or saving it for a soup, such as pea and asparagus & sorrel.

Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush it lightly but thoroughly all over with butter. Cut each piece into four. Place each asparagus spear along the bottom of your filo piece and roll snugly but not over tightly.

Picking it up with your fingers brush the outside with butter again, then scatter the grated parmesan thoroughly over the top of each cigar.

Lay them down on a tray lined with greaseproof paper with the outside edge of the filo facing down on the paper, this stops them unravelling when they cook.

Once done grind over with a heavy bombardment of black pepper.

Place in the oven for 15- 18 minutes until deep golden and crispy.

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Rustic British Asparagus Tartlets with Goats’ Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Rocket

Rustic British asparagus tartlets with goats’ cheese, sun dried tomatoes and rocket

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

You’ll need
375g ready rolled puff pastry
1 tbsp flour
half a bundle (approx. 125g) British asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 tbsp (approx. 75g) sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp oil from the jar
125g goats’ cheese, crumbled
2 handfuls of rocket
balsamic vinegar, to drizzle

What to do

Preheat the oven to 230°C.

Cut the pastry into 4 rectangles and place onto a floured baking tray. Score the edge of each rectangle with a sharp knife.

Mix the asparagus with the sun dried tomatoes and a little of their oil. Divide the asparagus and tomatoes between the 4 pastry rectangles and top each with goat’s cheese.

Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Toss the rocket in a little balsamic vinegar and place on top of the tartlets.

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British Asparagus Tortilla

British asparagus tortilla

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

You’ll need
1 bundle British asparagus
1 courgette thinly sliced
15g unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic crushed
200g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red onion sliced
6 medium eggs, beaten
salt and pepper

What to do

Preheat the oven to 200°c, and bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Fill another dish with iced water, large enough to fir the asparagus.

Drop the asparagus into the boiling water, bring back to the boil then cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, then plunge into the iced water to preserve the bright colour of the asparagus.

Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan fry the sliced courgettes in the butter then add the garlic and cook over a medium heat for around 6-7 minutes until almost sticky.

Using the same boiling water used to cook the asparagus, parboil the potatoes and cut into cubes, then add the potatoes and the onion to the pan and cook until softened.

Place the asparagus into the pan, season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper and then add to the pan. When the eggs have just set around the edges, transfer to the preheated oven for around 6-8 minutes or until the tortilla is set.

When cooked turn out onto a plate.

Cut the tortilla into slices then serve with some dressed salad leaves.

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Roasted British Asparagus with Chorizo and a Poached Egg

Roasted British asparagus with chorizo and a poached egg

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

You’ll need
a bundle (approx 250g) British asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
110g chorizo, sliced
2 eggs
handful of chives, chopped

What to do

Preheat the oven to 210°c.

Place your British asparagus into a roasting dish, add the olive oil and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

In a hot dry frying pan add the slices of chorizo. Cook on both sides for 2 minutes until the slices of chorizo release their paprika-infused oil.

Meanwhile place a pan of boiling water on the hob and bring to a fast rolling boil. When you have 3 minutes to go before serving crack your 2 eggs into the boiling water and immediately lower the heat to low-medium for 2 minutes. Then turn the heat off completely.

Remove the British asparagus from the oven and place on a serving dish, sprinkle over the hot chorizo slices, and with a slotted spoon add the 2 poached eggs.

Finally drizzle over the paprika oil and finish with the chives.

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British Asparagus with Soft Egg & Anchovy Dressing

British Asparagus with Soft Egg & Anchovy Dressing

Cooking time: 6-8 minutes

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6

You’ll need:
1 clove of good garlic (no green shoots)
1 small spring rosemary
1 egg yolk
70g white anchovies (vinegared in oil, not the brown salted ones)
50ml Whole Milk
60ml olive oil A splash of double cream (optional)
3 whole eggs
4 bundles of British asparagus, washed & trimmed
Salt and pepper for seasoning

What to do:

Finely chop the garlic, the sprig of rosemary and put in a small bowl with the egg yolk and anchovies.

In a small pan warm the milk taking it off just before it simmers. Pour over the anchovies and blitz with a stick blender. Pour in the olive oil very slowly until you have a nice creamy dressing. This sauce can be finished with a little double cream (50mls).

Place eggs in pan of cold water. Bring water up to the boil and then boil for 4 ½ minutes, drain and cool quickly in cold water.

In a separate pan put the asparagus in enough boiling water to cover it bring back up to boil and cook for no more than 1 ½ minutes, drain the run under cold water, dry thoroughly.

Side by side arrange 5 stems of asparagus on each plate, swiftly cut the eggs in half so not to let the middle run out and place each half on the asparagus, season the egg with salt & pepper before drizzling over some of the dressing.

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British Asparagus, Chilli, Lemongrass and Lime Leaf Stir Fry with King Prawns

British asparagus, chilli, lemongrass and lime leaf stir fry with king prawns

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

You’ll need
for the stir fry
small knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 stalk of lemon grass, bashed and finely chopped
4 lime leaves, thinly sliced
4 tbsp fish sauce
1-2 tbsp palm sugar or light muscavado sugar
1 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil
10 raw king prawns, shells off but with tails on if you can
1 small onion, cut into thick slices
1-2 small red Thai birds eye chilli, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 spring onions, cut into thumb length pieces
1 bundle (approx 250g) British asparagus, chopped in half lengthways then cut into thumb length pieces

to serve
steamed Thai rice
fresh coriander and/or Thai basil

What to do
Mix together the ginger, lemon grass, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar and put to one side.

Meanwhile heat a wok on high and when hot add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the king prawns and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until the prawns have gone pink with slightly golden edges. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Throw in the onion and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chilli, garlic and spring onion and stir-fry for a further 4 minutes until the onions have softened. Add the prawns back in and the British asparagus and stir fry for a further minute.

Finally pour over the sauce which was prepared earlier, and cook until the sauce becomes sticky, 3 minutes or so.

Serve immediately, topped with the fresh herbs and with the Thai rice.

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British Asparagus, Ricotta & Pancetta Pizza

British asparagus, ricotta & pancetta pizza

Serves: 2 medium pizzas, serving 4 each

Preparation time: 25 minutes plus proving
Cooking time: 15 minutes

You’ll need

for the dough
250ml tepid water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet easy blend dried yeast
300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 heaped teaspoon flaked sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for greasing

for the topping
1 tbl olive oil
1 clove of good hard garlic (no green shoots)
300ml tinned chopped tomatoes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
200g ricotta
2 bundles of British asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4 lengthways, place the asparagus in a little olive oil & salt until well-greased
1 large handful of dried oregano leaves a handful of pecorino cheese
olive oil for drizzling

What to do

To make the dough, pour the water into a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar and yeast. Put aside for around 10 minutes until the water has a thick beige foam floating on top. Add half the flour and stir gently with a wooden spoon. Don’t worry about clumps in the flour, as these will soon disappear.

Gradually add half the remaining flour and continue stirring. Once it’s all incorporated, add the remaining flour and the salt, crushing it between your fingers. Mix with clean hands. As soon as the dough forms a soft, spongy ball, turn it out on to a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes. Add a little more flour if it’s too wet. By this time the dough should be smooth, elastic and no longer sticking to your hands.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45–60 minutes.

Halfway through the rising time preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas 9.

Make the topping while the dough rests and rises in the bowl. Place the asparagus in a little olive oil & salt until well-greased.

In a pan gently heat the oil with the garlic and cook it gently for 2 minutes or so, it must not fry and colour. Add the chopped tomatoes and a good amount of salt and half a teaspoon of white sugar.

Simmer briskly for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly, getting rid of any obviously watery element. Let the sauce cool.

When the dough has risen turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and knock back with your fists.

Tear the dough in half and stretch, or flatten with a rolling pin, until about the thickness of a £1 coin. Place each pizza base on a lightly floured baking sheet or tray and brush on top with a little more oil.

When ready to assemble, spread the sauce half over each pizza base leaving a clean and narrow margin around the edge. Spread the ricotta over the tomato sauce, scatter over the asparagus spears, then add a grind of black pepper and scatter fresh oregano leaves.

Scatter over the pecorino all over the top of the pizzas and finally dribble a generous amount of olive oil over the whole pizza, slide into the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes, the base should be very crispy.

Serve immediately.

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British Asparagus, Smoked Salmon with Ginger and Soy Dressing

British Asparagus, Smoked Salmon with Ginger and Soy Dressing

Cooking time: 8 minutes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

You’ll need:
1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
2 cloves garlic crushed
Oil for frying
50ml dry sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 bundles British asparagus
200g smoked salmon slices
Fresh coriander to serve
1 red chilli sliced
1 lime cut into wedges

What to do:
Fry the ginger and garlic in a little oil for 2-3 minutes then add the sherry and soy. Once the mixture has reduced slightly leave to cool for a few minutes.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and coat with a little oil, cook on a pre-heated griddle pan for 4-5 minutes turning until cooked through but still retaining some bite.

Cut the smoked salmon into 2 cm thick strips and wrap around the asparagus spears, drizzle over the soy dressing and garnish with some chilli and coriander leaves. Serve with a wedge of lime.

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Cream of British Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg

Cream of British asparagus soup with poached egg

Serves: 4 Preparation
Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

You’ll need
2 bundles British asparagus, trimmed
1 leek, washed and trimmed
50g butter
400ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium eggs, poached

What to do

Cut the asparagus into 3cm lengths. Reserve the tips and set aside. Halve the leek lengthways and cut into 1 cm pieces. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the leek and asparagus. Sauté for 3 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the asparagus is soft and cooked through.

Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender, until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and return to the pan. Add the double cream and warm through.

Meanwhile, toss the asparagus tips in the olive oil, and heat a ridged griddle pan. Griddle the asparagus for 2 minutes. Serve the soup in warmed soup bowls, topping each bowl with a lightly poached egg and some asparagus tips.

Cooks Tip: When poaching the eggs put them into boiling salted water with a dash of vinegar as this helps to keep the egg together. The eggs can be poached in advanced and placed into a bowl of cold water then when the eggs are required they can be dropped back into boiling water.

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Fiery British Asparagus and Chicken Pasta

Fiery British asparagus and chicken pasta

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

You’ll need
1 bundle British asparagus
4-5 chicken thighs, cut into 6 pieces
1 tbsp olive oil 100g smoked pancetta or bacon, cubed
3-4 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green chilli, finely chopped or 1 tsp chilli powder to taste
1 tbsp rosemary, very finely chopped
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper for seasoning
300g dried spaghetti pasta
50g parmesan cheese, grated

What to do

Trim the ends of the asparagus then chop the spears into 4-5 pieces.

Fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes in a hot pan with some oil then add the pancetta, shallots, garlic, chilli and rosemary and cook over a medium heat for a further 3-4 minutes.

Add the asparagus and chopped tomatoes then simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to the packets instructions in boiling salted water, drain then add to the sauce, grate over some parmesan cheese before serving.

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Griddled British Asparagus with Gremolata

Griddled British Asparagus with Gremolata

Cooking time: 7-8 minutes
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

You’ll need:
2 bundles British asparagus
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Juice ½ lemon
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley very finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
Salt and pepper for seasoning
50g freshly grated breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic whole
Oil for cooking

What to do:

Trim the ends of the asparagus and coat with a little oil, cook on a pre-heated griddle pan for 4-5 minutes turning until cooked through but still retaining some bite.

For the gremalata mix the lemon juice and zest with the flat leaf parsley and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Heat some oil in a frying pan along with a clove of garlic. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden. Place breadcrumbs on some kitchen paper to remove excess oil, remove the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the asparagus through the gremalata and sprinkle over the bread crumbs before serving.

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Griddled British Asparagus, Crab & Watercress Sandwiches

Griddled British asparagus, crab & watercress sandwiches

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes, plus pre-heating griddle pan
Cook: 5-7 minutes

You’ll need:
300g British asparagus spears
1 tbsp Filippo Berio olive oil
300g fresh crab meat (half white/half brown meat)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp Bart Spices paprika
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
4 slices thick-cut granary bread
Butter
85g watercress

What to do:

1. Heat a griddle pan to hot. Lightly brush the asparagus with olive oil and cook on the griddle, turning occasionally, for around 5minutes or until tender.
2. Whilst the asparagus is cooking mix the crab meat with the mayonnaise and season to taste.
3. Butter the slices of bread and arrange the watercress on top of each piece, followed by a pile of the crab mixture lightly dusted with a pinch of paprika.
4. Top each slice of bread with the asparagus and serve immediately.

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Asparagus Wrapped in Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Egg

Asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon with scrambled egg

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes

You’ll need:
10 stems of asparagus
4-6 slices of good quality smoked salmon
3 free range eggs
Salt & pepper

What to do:

To cook the asparagus place in a steamer or cook in a chargrill pan until cooked. Once cooked wrap five stems of asparagus with 2-3 slices of smoked salmon, repeat with the other five stems.

To make the scrambled egg, break three eggs into a small non-stick pan, add a little salt and pepper then whisk together with a fork until mixed. Then cook on a medium to high heat, making sure you continually stir with a rubber spatula, make sure you scrape all the edges to allow it to cook quicker. Once it’s about half way cooked remove from the heat and continue stirring, it will continue to cook from the heat of the pan. This helps to make sure you don’t overcook the egg.

As soon as the egg is cooked remove from the pan immediately and serve with your smoked salmon wrapped asparagus.

Great for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack!

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British Asparagus, Goat’s Cheese & Smoked Bacon Quiche

British asparagus, goat’s cheese & smoked bacon quiche

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

You’ll need

for the pastry
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing
1 egg
2 tbsp water (or buy readymade short crust pastry)

for the filling
30g butter
2 rashers of thick smoked back bacon (finely chopped)
6 spears of asparagus
100g of goat’s cheese
300ml double cream
200ml of milk
4 medium eggs salt & pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan

What to do

Start by making the pastry. Sift your flour into a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Mix in the egg, then add to the flour and bring together with your hands. Add the water and knead on a cold floured surface until fully mixed. Then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Next, preheat the oven to 190°c and remove your pastry from the fridge. Grease a loose bottomed tart case, ideally a round 20cm diameter by 3-4cm deep or a 35cm by 12cm rectangular fluted flan tin.

Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface until it’s an even thickness of about ½ – 1cm.

Line the pastry tin with your pastry making sure you press into the edges of the tart case all the way round. You can use a 2cm ball of pastry to press the pastry into the tin to prevent piercing the pastry. Prick all over the pastry base with a fork, to release trapped air and stop the pastry from rising.

Now line the pastry with parchment paper, fill it with baking beans or rice. Then place onto a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove the beans and the paper from the case, brush the pastry with a little milk or egg wash, then pop back in the oven at 180°c for 10 more minutes until golden, remove from oven and set aside. For the filling melt the butter in a pan and add the diced smoked bacon, fry until golden brown and cooked, then set aside. Now get your asparagus spears, trim off the hard root, cut them in half lengthways then add to a hot griddle pan with a little oil and cook until charred.

Spoon the bacon mixture into the cooked pastry case, add the asparagus and crumble the goats’ cheese on top.

In a jug, whisk together the cream, milk and eggs and season with salt and pepper.

Then, pour the egg mix into the pastry case, taking care not to overfill the tart. Don’t worry if you have some mix left over. Sprinkle the top with the grated parmesan and bake the tart in the oven at 180°c for about 20-30 minutes until the filling is golden and the mix is set.

Cooks tip: Serve sliced generously with a side of peppery fresh watercress and buttered potatoes.

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British Asparagus, Pancetta and Parmesan Linguine with Chive Cream

British asparagus, pancetta and parmesan linguine with chive cream

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 8 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

You’ll need
150g linguine
1 tsp olive oil
8 stems of British asparagus
50g of thick cut pancetta (diced)
50ml of double cream
50ml of vegetable stock
2 tbsp grated parmesan
2 tbsp chopped chives
salt and pepper

What to do

Start by cooking the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water until cooked, make sure the pasta is still slightly al dente, then drain. Return to the pan and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together, and put to one side.

Put a medium sized frying pan on the heat add a drizzle of oil, finely slice six stems of asparagus, with the other two stems cut into four pieces. Put them all in the pan and sauté on a medium heat, now add the diced pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the cream, vegetable stock and parmesan, then add the cooked pasta and the chopped chives, cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, if the sauce gets a little thick add a touch of water.

Once cooked serve with a grating of fresh parmesan and a little seasoning.

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Tempura Tiger Prawns with Soy and Sesame Asparagus

Tempura tiger prawns with soy and sesame asparagus

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

You’ll need: 
8-10 stems of asparagus
100g self raising flour
50g of corn flour 50g or 50ml of cold sparkling water (more if batter is too thick)
Salt and pepper
10 tiger prawns fresh (or defrosted)
50ml of good quality soy sauce (more for dipping)
1 tbsp of sesame seeds

What to do:

To cook the asparagus, trim the ends then place into boiling water for 1-2 minutes until cooked but still with a bit of bite (al dente). Then remove from the water and put into ice water to stop it cooking anymore and keep that nice green colour.

Now make the batter for the prawns by mixing the self raising flour and corn flour together, then add the sparkling water and whisk with a fork, the batter should be fairly light and not too thick. Add more water if it’s too thick, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To cook the prawns heat some vegetable oil to 180c or use a small deep fat fryer.

Now pat the prawns down with a little kitchen towel to remove any moisture, then place in batter mix and drop into the oil, when golden in colour remove and place on kitchen towel until dry.

For the asparagus, get your stems and slice each stem into 4 smaller pieces, then heat a pan, add a little oil and then the asparagus, sauté in the pan for a minute, add your soy sauce.

Then your sesame seeds, cook for another minute, then remove from the pan and serve straight away with your tempura prawns and extra soy sauce for dipping.

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Minted Pesto British Asparagus & Potato Salad

Minted pesto, British asparagus and potato salad

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

You’ll need

for the salad
250g cherry tomatoes halved
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 bundles British asparagus 500g new potatoes
salt and pepper for seasoning

for the pesto
mall handful fresh mint leaves
1 handful rocket leaves
30g walnuts ½ clove garlic
50ml olive oil, or enough to loosen the pesto
30g parmesan grated
lemon juice to taste

What to do

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place on a baking tray. Add garlic, sugar and balsamic vinegar and bake at 160°c/140°c fan for 1 hour. Remove from oven. If you’re pushed for time, use ready-to-eat sundried tomatoes instead of roasting your own.

Turn oven up to 200°c/180°c fan. Trim the ends of the asparagus and place on a roasting tray, drizzle with some oil, season and roast in oven for 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile boil the halved new potatoes until cooked through, drain and set aside.

Add the mint to a blender along with the rocket, walnuts and garlic, drizzle in the oil whilst blending until you have a loose consistency. Add the grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Dress the asparagus spears and potatoes with the pesto and scatter over some of the roasted cherry tomatoes.

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Morrocan Crusted Salmon and Asparagus Salad

Moroccan crusted salmon with an asparagus, rocket and preserved lemon salad

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

You’ll need

for the salmon

1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp soft light muscovado sugar small bunch parsley roughly chopped salt and cracked black pepper
4 pieces of salmon fillet, scales removed
4 tbsp olive oil

for the salad
2 bundles of asparagus trimmed
1 preserved lemon, seeds and flesh removed (Look out for Belazu preserved lemon available in Sainsbury, Waitrose and some delis or at www.belazu.com)
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
2 plum tomatoes cut into chunks
2 handfuls rocket washed
4 tbsp Greek yogurt extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

What to do

Preheat the oven to 180°c, gas mark 6

In a bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, paprika, allspice, sugar and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the mixture all over the flesh side of the salmon and drizzle over the olive oil.

Bring a medium sized pan of salted water to the boil. Place in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Drain then cool and set aside.

In a hot non-stick frying pan seal the salmon skin side down first, then place in the oven for 6-8 minutes.

While you are waiting for the salmon to cook, chop the lemon skin and place in a medium sized bowl. Then add the asparagus, shallots, chilli, tomatoes, rocket and a splash of extra virgin olive oil, season and mix.

When the salmon is cooked, divide between 4 warm plates, top with the salad. Finish with a spoonful of yogurt, cracked pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Wine recommendation: Dawn Davies, Sommelier at Selfridges in London suggests the following wine to go with this recipe:Cape Mentelle Sauvignon/Semillon – Waitrose.

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Roasted British Asparagus with Chilli & Lime Butter

Roasted British Asparagus with Chilli and Lime Butter

Cooking time: 8 minutes
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

You’ll need: 
100g butter
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbs fresh coriander, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
juice ½ lime
2 bundles British asparagus
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 lime for garnish

What to do:
Bring the butter to room temperature then mix in the chilli, coriander, ground cumin and lime juice, add a good twist of black pepper then place onto a sheet of clingfilm. Roll into a sausage shape then chill in the fridge.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and place on a roasting tray, drizzle with some oil, season and roast in an oven set at 200°c / 180°c fan for 6-8 minutes.

Place the asparagus spears onto serving plates and top with a slice of the butter, serve with a wedge of lime.

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British Asparagus & Lentil Salad with Poached Eggs

Warm British asparagus & lentil salad with poached eggs
Serves: 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

 

You’ll need
1 bundle British asparagus (approx 250g)
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
400g can brown lentils, drained
150g baby cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 large free range eggs

 

What to do

 

Preheat oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus and brush the spears with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the asparagus in shallow oven proof dish or roasting tin, season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender.

 

Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the onion, celery, garlic and chilli and sauté over a low heat for 5-10 minutes or until onions are soft.

 

Add the lentils and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the lentils are hot. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

 

To poach the eggs, place a large saucepan of water on the hob and bring to a fast rolling boil. Crack the eggs into the boiling water and immediately lower the heat to low-medium for 2 minutes.

 

Divide the lentil mixture between two serving bowls, lay the asparagus over the lentil mixture. Using a slotted spoon remove the eggs from the water and gently place on the asparagus, break the eggs open slightly to allow the yolk to run out. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve immediately.

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Somerset Fondue with British Asparagus & New Potatoes

Somerset fondue with British asparagus& new potatoes

 

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

 

You’ll need

 

for dipping
1 bunch British asparagus spears
250g new potatoes

 

for the fondue
25g butter
2 tbsp flour
250ml Thatchers Katy dry cider
3 fresh sage leaves
200g Godminster Cheddar
200g Godminster brie
1 tsp Suffolk Mud English mustard
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

What to do

 

Put the potatoes into a pan with cold water, bring to the boil and cook until tender.

 

Whilst the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan
and stir in the flour to form a roux. Cook for a minute over a low heat, being careful not to let the roux burn.

 

Pour in the cider, whisking vigorously until you have a smooth thickened sauce. Simmer for a couple for minutes and add the sage leaves and mustard, then reduce the heat to as low as possible.

 

Cut the cheese into small cubes. Begin to gradually add them to the hot cider sauce stirring well and making sure the cheese is fully melted before you add more. Once all the cheese in incorporated season to
taste.

 

Cook the asparagus in boiling water for 4-5 minutes until just tender. Drain and arrange on a platter with the cooked potatoes. Transfer the fondue to a fondue bowl or eat straight from the pan, dipping in the
asparagus and potatoes.

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