HOW TO SURVIVE A GLUT OF... ASPARAGUS
EASY CROSTINI WITH ASPARAGUS & PEA PUREE is a delicious spring treat. This recipe makes 12.
INGREDIENTS • 1 bunch asparagus • 100g fresh peas • ¼ cup mayonnaise • ½ cup crème fraîche • 1 lemon, juice and zest • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard • 70g finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1 ciabatta-style loaf, sliced into 12 • extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil • 1 clove garlic
METHOD To make the purée, cook asparagus, drain and pat dry. Reserve 12 asparagus tips and a handful of peas as a garnish. Using a food processor, blend the remaining asparagus and peas with the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, lemon juice and zest, garlic and mustard until smooth. Fold in the Parmesan and season to taste.
Prepare the crostini by brushing bread liberally on both sides with olive oil. Wipe the garlic clove over each slice. Heat a frying pan, then press and fry the bread slices on both sides until golden brown. To serve, dollop a generous amount of the purée onto each slice, and top with an asparagus tip, a few peas and some Parmesan shavings.
ASPARAGUS TERRINE is great for picnics, or Sunday brunch. A terrine is a deep, oblong, lidded ovenproof dish, generally made out of cast iron, that gives its name to whatever is cooked within it. If you don’t have a terrine, use a loaf tin instead. This recipe uses smoked salmon, but you could substitute another smoked fish such as snapper, or even bacon. Serves 6.
INGREDIENTS • 1 bunch asparagus • 500g cream cheese • 4 egg whites • ½ cup cream • salt & freshly ground black pepper • 1 handful chopped parsley • 100g smoked salmon, sliced
METHOD Preheat the oven to 150ºc, and line your tin with baking paper. Cook asparagus until al dente, drain and dry. Beat the cream cheese with the egg whites and cream, season and fold in the parsley. Pour into the tin, then lie half the asparagus spears on top (chuck them in any old how). Add a layer of salmon, then the last of the asparagus. Sit the terrine in a roasting pan. Pour water carefully into the roasting pan so it reaches halfway up the sides of the tin. Pop on lid tin (or cover with foil) and cook for 1 hour or till set. Cool completely before refrigerating. Remove from the tin and cut into slices.
Try this slow-cooked, creamy RISOTTO WITH PEAS AND ASPARAGUS. Serves 4.
INGREDIENTS • 1 litre chicken stock • 1 knob butter • 1 shallot or small onion, finely diced • 1 clove garlic • 1 cup Arborio rice • ¼ cup white wine • 8 asparagus spears • 1 cup fresh peas • 100g fresh Parmesan • salt and black pepper
METHOD Heat the stock in a saucepan. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pot, add the onion and garlic and sweat gently over a low heat until clear. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter. Cook for 1 minute, then add the wine and cook for 2 minutes until the alcohol has been absorbed (it should not smell of wine). Add enough of the hot stock to just cover the rice. Stir constantly from this point on, adding stock a ladle at a time. When the last ladle is added, add the asparagus, peas and Parmesan, remove from the heat and pop on the lid for 5 minutes to complete the cooking. Stir well and dish into warm bowls. Top with extra cheese. POTATO SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS AND SNOW PEAS is perfect for pot lucks. Celebrate spring’s bountiful produce by using ‘Rocket’ or ‘Swift’ early potatoes in this salad. It’s great served with salmon fillets, lamb racks or butterflied chicken breasts.
INGREDIENTS • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 500g new potatoes, washed (don’t peel) • 1 bunch asparagus • 200g snow peas • handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
METHOD Make the dressing in a big bowl by combining the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic and seasoning. Steam the potatoes until tender, drain, then return to the pot for a couple of minutes over a moderate heat to dry off any remaining moisture. Tip into a serving bowl with the dressing. Bring a pot of water to the boil, drop in the asparagus and snow peas, count to 100, drain, add to the bowl, then scatter in parsley and toss to coat all in the dressing. Serve warm.