Recipes for the start of British Asparagus Season (23rd April - 21st June)

PUBLISHED: 15:43 14 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:00 20 February 2013

Recipes for the start of British Asparagus Season (23rd April - 21st June)

Recipes for the start of British Asparagus Season (23rd April - 21st June)

Hailed by celebrity chefs and foodies as the best in the world, British Asparagus is a delicious home-grown vegetable which comes packed with nutrients and bursting with taste.

Hailed by celebrity chefs and foodies as the best in the world, British Asparagus is a delicious home-grown vegetable which comes packed with nutrients and bursting with taste.

A truly versatile vegetable, British Asparagus is delicious in all sorts of different dishes for lunch, dinner and even breakfast. For those whove only ever considered asparagus as a luxurious accompaniment to a main course, its time to think again! There are numerous ways to taste British asparagus and when its on the shelves, theres absolutely no reason why it cant be enjoyed two or three times a week (or even everyday!) in all sorts of recipes, perfect for every meal time.

Asparagus is so versatile and it can be enjoyed by everyone the young, the old, families, the health-conscious and pregnant women alike. Try the kids on lightly buttered asparagus spears dipped in runny boiled eggs. Asparagus is traditionally served simply steamed or lightly boiled and is delicious either way. However, it can also be roasted, chargrilled, barbecued or stir-fried. Or how about the easiest way of them all, simply eating asparagus raw, just as nature intended, in a fresh and light summer salad?

Two of the countrys fastest rising foodies in the celebrity chef circuit, Tiffany Goodall and Gizzi Erskine have some recipes tomake the most of this delicious vegetable

Tiffany Goodalls British Asparagus dipped in Camembert

This is a French inspired idea that is a romantic nibble or a great starter before a meal. I love the twist on it with the brilliantly British asparagus and the rich French classic of Camembert.

Serves 2 as a snack or starter

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Youll need:

250g Camembert

Half a bundle (approx. 110g) British asparagus

1 tsp olive oil

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 210C. Remove all the packaging and then place the Camembert on a baking tray and put in the hot oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a griddle pan or a frying pan. Toss the British asparagus in the olive oil and then add to the hot griddle pan with a good bit of seasoning. Griddle for a couple of minutes on both sides until they are nicely charred.

Remove the Camembert from the oven and assemble on a board or plate with the British asparagus next to it, use a spoon to make a hole in the top and then just gloriously dip your spears of British asparagus into the melted Camembert Yummy!

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

I fancy these as a healthy summer lunch, and you can substitute the goats cheese with a good Montgomery cheddar or some rich blue cheese such as Roquefort. Its hugely versatile as really you can add almost any topping to it and use the oven/grill as your vehicle to make it wonderfully gooey/crispy

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Youll need:

1 tbsp flour

375g ready rolled puff pastry

Half a bundle (approx. 125g) British asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

Salt for seasoning

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 230C.

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 goats 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.

Tiffany Goodalls British Asparagus and Pea Risotto with Lemon and Crme Fraiche

I am such a fan of risottos because you usually find you have the core ingredients in your fridge or store-cupboard. There is nothing like a creamy risotto with asparagus and fresh spring/summer veggies. This is a dinner party must-do dish.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Youll need:

600ml chicken or vegetable stock

25g butter

4 spring onions, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

green chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely

150g Arborio rice

glass of white wine

Half a bundle (approx. 125g) British asparagus

100g British peas

2 tbsp (10g) grated parmesan

3 tbsp (85g) crme 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 your 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, 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 one 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 crme fraiche, lemon zest and juice and let them melt in before dishing up, serving and finishing off with some chopped chives.

Gizzi Erskines British Asparagus, Broad Bean, Mint and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Makes 4, Serves 4 as a starter or snack

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Youll need:

300g podded and shelled broad beans

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus an extra drizzle at the end

1 lemon, juiced

A handful mint leaves, saving a few small ones back to garnish

Salt and pepper for seasoning

100g British asparagus, cut in half lengthways

4 slices rustic white bread, such as sourdough

1 garlic clove, peeled but left whole

1 small ball (approx.150g) of really good buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn

What to do:

Cook the broad beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water, drain again, then peel from their skins.

Use the back of a fork to roughly crush the beans with the olive oil and lemon juice, then stir through the mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the British asparagus in boiled salted water for 1 to 2 minutes and drain under cold water too.

Heat a griddle pan, toast the bread on both sides, then rub with the garlic clove. Spoon some of the beans over each slice of bread, scatter over the British asparagus, mint and mozzarella and drizzle with more olive oil to serve.

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