Recipe
Comments 24

Make Room for Asparagus

Slow Roasting Asparagus with Tarragon

It’s a sure sign that summer is nigh when English asparagus starts to grace our shelves. It’s a welcome moment in my year, as it indicates a splurge of seasonal food availability. I’ve come up with as many recipes for kale as I can manage, and as much as I love it, I am ready to move on. Bring on the wild garlic, asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli, nettles and on and on.

The fresher the better, straight from the ground asparagus has a delicious sweetness and intensity of flavour, I ate some raw last year as it gave it’s death squeal on the tip of an allotmenteers knife. I’ve been making the most of the season so far, as I always do, and it’s graced many a brunch, lunch and dinner.

Asparagus Wrapped in Parma Ham
What to do with it? Simplicity is key. It’s fabulous steamed or fried and lightly salted and used as soldiers for soft gooey eggs. Yesterday morning I couldn’t resist adding another savoury note by wrapping each spear in the finest of parma ham, drizzling with olive oil and roasting with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt for 10 minutes at 180 degrees. I used them to probe and devour the softest and richest of egg yolks, from my favourite eggs – Old Cotswold Legbars from Clarence Court. I don’t know why some restaurants persist in importing their eggs from Italy for their golden yolks when these are beauifully gold, almost orange, and satisfyingly rich. It’s wonderful with tarragon, and mint gives it some life.

You might like to try the Asparagus & Truffle Carbonara that I made last year, dunk some in the softest of poached eggs or try Fregola Sarda with Asparagus, heirloom tomato and goat’s curd.

I’ll be back soon with more recipe ideas, now that I have a kitchen to cook in again. For now, do tell, what’s your favourite way of eating asparagus?

24 Comments

    • They are so good, I am actually leaving my house just now to go out and buy some more!

  1. Im a bit old school with my asparagus – water boiling BEFORE you pick it, with butter, parmesan, black pepper and poached egg. makes me hungry thinking about it. I genuinely cant have enough…one of the first things i did when we moved here was hire a mini digger and scratch out 4 long rows (90m altogether) for asparagus beds next to the veg patch. Four years in adn Im buggered if Im ever tsaking holiday from mid April to Mid May

    • Before you pick it? Must investigate. I would be the same if I was you – sounds amazing to grow your own like that.

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  3. Choosing my favourite way of eating asparagus is a task King Solomon would baulk at. I like mine blanched then griddled, then either: slathered in butter and simply salted & peppered; served with a soft poached egg and warm hollandaise; used as you suggest as ‘soldiers’, but with a blink-and-you’ll-miss’em gull’s egg; or drizzled with sweet balsamic syrup then topped with abundant Parmesan shavings.

    Naturally all this thinking about it has now made me want to rush out and get some…see you!

    • Oh, yes, all lovely suggestions. Especially the gulls egg. Hmmm, thinking cap is on!

  4. Kevin says

    I concur with Hugh – blanched then griddled. As for what to eat them with – butter & salt, poached eggs (again!) or a dollop of home made mayo…..

  5. Ooooh it’s that lovely time of year again! Wrapped in ham is definitely a winner. Also love them grilled lightly with sea-salt on the BBQ, and baked into a frittata (recipe here http://bit.ly/73DRBX). Incidentally I ate this a lot when my entire life was in packing boxes last year. If you’re still mid move, you might like this!

  6. I tend to have it just with a little bit of parmesan, salt ans pepper.

    I’m going to try some of your recipes though!

    • Parmesan is so good with asparagus, isn’t it? I like manchego and pecorino too. Enjoy!

  7. Nim says

    Was sitting in the tube this morning thinking about asparagus dipped in eggs and planning ahead to the weekend – maybe I won’t wait. My dutch grandma always used to serve with boiled potatoes, chopped boiled egg, lots of black pepper, ham and gallons of melted butter – heart attack on a plate but a hearty main course.

  8. I picked up some super-fresh asparagus in Kent at the weekend. A quick rub of olive oil, salt, pepper and a few minutes on the barbecue – fantastic. As you say, the ‘fresher the better’.

  9. Sue says

    Why do we ever buy the stuff from Peru, stick to Uk aparagus, wonerful made into pasta sauce wit gnocchi, if there is masses, and it is not too expensive.
    Otherwise just dipped in a soft boiled egg :-)

  10. I adore asparagus and am always on the hunt for new recipes involving it. Some lovely ideas here :)

    Have you a new camera now? That first photo is stunning.

  11. LittleFfarm Dairy says

    Hmmm…for me:
    – the freshest-possible asparagus spears, cut straight from the garden;
    – a soft-boiled, fresh-laid egg preferably snatched from beneath the befeathered undercarriage of our noisily-clucking Mrs Hitler – her fanfare proclaiming that something decidedly delicious is en route (Mrs Hitler being a hen of ours’ who lays the most awesomely generous & exquisitely tasty, naturally golden-yolked free-range eggs);
    – a cobnut-sized knob of softened goats’ butter;
    – a goodly grind of zesty fresh black pepper;
    – a few gentle of drops of cider vinegar;
    – & the lightest pinch of flavoursome pure Welsh sea salt.
    — Carefully include all of the above ingredients, into the original eggshell; & stir together to create the ultimate Hollandaise with the raw aspargaus spears…indulge; enjoy.

    The ultimate: healthy, & utterly delicious, breakfast. Surely few better ways, to start the day….?!

  12. Pingback: Recipe: Roast asparagus wrapped in parma ham | Jessica's Recipe Bag

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