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British Asparagus Season Kicks Off!

The British Asparagus Season kicked off on 23rd April! So let’s get cooking…

Did You Know:

British asparagus is packed full of goodness, so not only are you getting a delicious vegetable but a healthy one too.

Eating asparagus promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine and can help reduce bloating.

Asparagus contains vitamin K, essential for healthy blood clotting.

It is a rich source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system.

Asparagus is a mild diuretic and is believed to help detoxify the body.

So to celebrate the Usain Bolt of the Vegetable World, here are four Amazing Asparagus Recipes to get you sprinting into Summer!

Creamy British Asparagus Pasta



Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

You’ll need:

 250g pasta shapes

1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed

150g frozen peas

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp plain flour

100ml vegetable stock

200 ml of milk

75g cream cheese

3 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

What to do:

Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack.  In the last three minutes of cooking time, add the asparagus and peas to the pasta pot.  Cook until the pasta is al dente and the vegetables cooked, then drain.

To make your sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Cook the onion and garlic until soft, approximately five minutes.  In a ramekin, combine the flour and stock and mix until smooth and then add to the onion mixture in the pan.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the cream cheese and Parmesan and season.

Stir the pasta and vegetables into the hot sauce and serve with the chopped parsley sprinkled over and a little extra Parmesan.

Vegan griddled British asparagus and shallots with salsa verde



Serves: 4 + 1 small jar

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

You’ll need:

½ garlic clove

2bsp red wine vinegar

30g flat-leaf parsley, just the leaves

30g basil, just the leaves

Zest of 1 lemon

2tbsp capers

150ml olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 echalions

500g British asparagus


What to do:

Place the garlic, red wine vinegar, parsley, basil, lemon zest, capers and olive oil into a hand-held blender and blitz until combined but still coarse. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Chop the echalions lengthways into four quarters and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place in a smoking hot griddle pan to cook until they are soft and slightly charred but still hold their shape. Set aside.

Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and lightly oil them, then place in the griddle pan for 2-3 minutes until charred but still tender.

Arrange the asparagus and echalions on a plate, then spoon over the salsa verde.

British asparagus, poached egg and hollandaise on a crumpet



Serves: 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

You’ll need:

For the hollandaise sauce:

150g butter

2 egg yolks

1 dessert spoon of white wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt and pepper

For the crumpets

250g British asparagus

4 large eggs

4 crumpets

Fresh chives, chopped (optional)

 What to do:

To make the hollandaise, melt the butter in a small saucepan and skim off any white solids that float to the surface, leave on low heat. In a heatproof bowl whisk the two eggs yolks and white wine vinegar until smooth.

Bring a small pan of water to a simmer and set the bowl containing the egg mixture over the pan to create a bain-marie. Very slowly while continuing to whisk the egg mixture, pour the melted butter in bit by bit. Continue until you have a creamy smooth hollandaise. If the mix starts to get too hot lift the bowl off the heat and continue to whisk.

Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and season to taste. To keep warm until ready to serve.

Bring a shallow wide pan of water to a simmer then add the asparagus to blanch for 2-3 minutes then set aside.

Crack your 4 eggs into 4 separate ramekins, gently lower each ramekin into the simmering water and tip the egg into the pan. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Whilst your eggs are cooking toast your crumpets.

To assemble, divide the toasted crumpets between 4 plates. Top with asparagus, poached egg and a serving of warm hollandaise. If using sprinkle over some chopped chives.

Serve immediately.

British asparagus, pea and bacon mini frittatas


Serves: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

You’ll need:

100g bacon lardons

3 large eggs

75ml crème Fraiche

30g Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and Pepper

100g chopped, blanched asparagus

50g frozen peas

2 tbsp chopped chives

 What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180˚c and line a muffin tin with six cases.

Heat a small frying pan and cook the bacon lardons until they are golden and crispy.  Allow cooling.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, crème Fraiche and Parmesan and add a little salt and pepper.  Add the asparagus, peas, bacon lardons and chopped chives and stir together.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin case and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Serve warm or cool completely and pop in your lunchbox.

All recipes and images are courtesy of the British Asparagus Growers Association

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