Amazing Asparagus & Recipes Part 2
For Part 2 of Amazing Asparagus & Recipes, I have chosen two of my favourite new recipes from Delicious magazine. The Asparagus season in the UK hasn’t that much longer to go, so I am determined to make the most of this amazing vegetable before it tips over into a ferny, feathery frond, perfect for flower arranging but not good for eating.
This first Asparagus recipe would be great for an easy light lunch – and perfect for sharing with friends for a relaxed meal, with a light Italian wine. Sitting outside in the garden on a sunny day would top the experience off.
Griddled Asparagus, Goat’s Cheese and Herb Oiled Toast Recipe
- 250g asparagus - washed and tough end chopped or snapped off
- Sunflower or Rapeseed oil for rubbing/drizzling
- 2 large slices sourdough bread
- 1 large garlic clove, sliced in half
- 75g soft rindless goat's cheese
- Small handful shelled, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Grated zest of half a lemon to garnish
- Large handful of soft herbs (such as basil, mint, oregano, coriander)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 100ml extra-virgin olive
- Whizz the herbs, lemon juice and a little olive oil (just enough to make a paste) in a mini chopper or blender until combined.
- Stir in the rest of the oil, then set aside.
- To make in a pestle or mortar, chop the herbs, then crush to a paste with the lemon juice and oil.
- Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Rub the asparagus with sunflower oil, then cook for 2 - 3 minutes on each side until charred and tender. Put on a plate and cover loosely with foil.
- Drizzle the bread with a little oil, then toast in the griddle pan until crisp on both sides. Remove to a board.
- Rub each slice with the cut side of the garlic, then spread with the cheese, pile on the asparagus and season.
- Drizzle over the herb oil then scatter with the pistachios and lemon zest. Eat immediately.
The seconds Amazing Asparagus recipe is a very tasty and filling one, especially if served with a colourful mixed leaved salad, with just a few tiny tomatoes added. Tallegio Cheese is one of my favourite cheeses to melt over dishes. I know it is available from Waitrose stores, as I buy mine from there when I have to go for my Chemo. Waitrose is just down the road from the hospital, so I have a special treat doing a quick shop at my favourite store either before or after I am joined up to my Chemo tubes.
Quick Asparagus & Tallegio Tart Recipe.
- 125g asparagus tips, or similar
- 200g frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
- 100g Italian parmigiano reggiano or parmesan shavings
- Olive oil for frying
- 4 banana shallots, finely sliced
- Plain flour to dust
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 100g taleggio cheese, cut into 8 slices
- 1 free-range egg yolk, beaten
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
- Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, then gently fry the shallots for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, then blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes until bright green. Drain and refresh under ice-cold water, then slice in half lengthways and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to the thickness of a pound coin, then divide into 2 x 15cm squares and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Score a 1 cm border around the inside of each pastry square, then spoon the mustard into the middle and spread up the the border.
- Top each tart with 4 Taleggio slices, the asparagus spears, shallots and parmesan shavings.
- Brush the pastry edges with the beaten egg yolk, season with sea salt and black pepper, then bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
- Serve with a colourful mix of salad leaves.
Heavens, it’s 7.31am on a quite windy but sunny Sunday morning. Enough of Amazing Asparagus! Time to wake up Erik, have a shower and get on with the day. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, no bad news this morning here, so I’m looking forward to some gentle gardening, planting my spinach, more Borlotti beans and a couple of Butternut squashes. A good friend is coming for a meal tonight, and as I am still enjoying my appetite (the Chemo hasn’t yet ruined it), I am in an Italian appetite frame of mind so might start with a tiny version of the Griddled Asparagus with Goat’s cheese (above), followed by Panzanella and finished off with my favourite, Apple Tartes Fines (with Madagascan Vanilla Ice-cream)! Looking forward to this one. XXX