Asparagus is, in my opinion, a highly underrated vegetable. While our freezers are filled with frozen peas, shelves packed with tinned sweetcorn and cupboards crowded with bags of carrots and onions, asparagus always seems quite neglected in our cooking.
To be fair, the lack of publicity it gets probably means that we avoid it because we just don’t know what to cook with it! Does asparagus go with pasta or rice? Do we boil it or roast it? Well, late springtime is the best season for asparagus, so now is the time to find out! Here are some ideas to start experimenting with this delicious and nutritious veggie!
Slice your asparagus slightly just to make the spears shorter. Boil up your pasta as normal and in the last three minutes of cooking, add your asparagus. Drain your pasta then return to the pan and stir in spinach leaves and a sauce of your choice – pesto, crème fraiche or a cheese sauce would go perfectly with this!
Try it with avocado and bacon with some leaves and olive oil, or with mix in with quinoa and feta for a more filling lunch
Jazz up your basic lettuce salads! Par-boil your asparagus by cooking for 2 minutes in boiling water and then immediately running cold water over them. Then, be creative! Try it with avocado and bacon with some leaves and olive oil, or with mix in with quinoa and feta for a more filling lunch.
You can also make healthy soups: just chop up finely and then cook in olive oil with garlic and onion, add vegetable stock and then other veggies like spinach or peas. Add any spices or flavourings you would like, and then just blend it all together! At the end, stir in some crème fraiche for a lovely creamy consistency.
Simply place some asparagus on a tray and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever spices you would like and then roast for around 20 minutes in the oven. This makes super flavoursome and charred asparagus spears that can be put into so many dishes! Use it as a topping for homemade pizza or have it alongside some roasted sweet potato and beans for a Mexican dish.
This is so easy and a really summery dish. Just buy some puff pastry and cut into rectangles then place on a baking tray, then spread over some tomato passata and add your asparagus spears on top, and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for around 20 minutes in the oven until the pastry has puffed up and is golden and the asparagus is tender. You could also add feta cheese, sundried tomato or really whatever you would like!
Make sure to leave room in your trolley for a pack of asparagus, and get inventive with this versatile veg!
Since barbecue season is kicking off, why not throw a few spears of asparagus on the BBQ alongside your sausages and cook for 5-8 minutes, until they are slightly tender and chargrilled for a perfect side dish!
So next time you do that big essential shop, make sure to leave room in your trolley for a pack of asparagus, and get inventive with this versatile veg! Happy cooking!
If you want some more inspiration, check out the British Asparagus page here!
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