Asparagus and lovely Irish Spuds with purple skin

April 2, 2010

I don’t think we’ve ever done asparagus because they are just so pricey and it would mean a lot less of other stuff in your box. This week I managed to do some wheeling and dealing with one of our suppliers and got some at a (semi!) reasonable price. So, for the first time ever I give you asparagus!!

Like all veggies these guys are of course really good for you. Carol from Auggie’s creche told me that Patrick Holford says they are a superfood and with all their vitamins and minerals (too numerous to list) that does make sense. Generally though, nutrition isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about asparagus because it’s  their subtle flavour that gets people really excited. It  can only be described as grassy although I heard Denis Cotter talk recently about how in the first day after they’ve been picked they can taste of apples. When flavours are delicate, simplicity is always the way forward.  A knob of butter and a little salt is really perfection itself while a spritz of lemon or lime is beautiful too. Hollandaise makes a meal of a bowl of freshly steamed asparagus that you really should experience at least once. Cream is another  lovely foil and this week’s recipe is for a very simple gratin with cream and parmesan.  When you cook asparagus you want them firm but tender so don’t go too al dente or they’ll be tough. A brief steaming of about 2 minutes will suffice.If you want to jazz things up  you can sear them on a griddle pan after they come out of the steamer. But some would say this is gilding sorry, smoking the lily just a little too much. It does add a nice smokey flavour to things though. I won’t be doing that today though. It’s been ages since I’ve eaten asparagus so I’m going to keep things as simple as possible so its unique flavour can come through…………..

Asparagus Gratin with Parmesan and Cream.

You’ll need:

A bunch of asparagus

100ml vegetable stock

100ml white wine

200ml single cream

60gr Parmesan cheese grated

A tablespoon breadcrumbs

Simmer the stock and wine until they have reduced by half, add the cream and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the cream has thickened and reduced by about a third. Rinse the asparagus and cut the tougher ends off (about 5cm). Steam the asparagus spears for 2 minutes then drain and lay out on a heatproof dish. Pour over the cream and stock. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Toss the cheese and breadcrumbs together and top the asparagus with the mix. Put under a hot grill until golden. Eat immediately!!

Our spuds are a gorgeous purple colour and their flavour is even better. I’ve been parboiling them in their skins, draining then tossing them in olive oil and Maldon salt then roasting them for about 45 minutes and they are amazing!!!!!!

Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy all the veggies,

Sarah

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2 Responses to “Asparagus and lovely Irish Spuds with purple skin”

  1. Trinda Says:

    This was my first time to cook asparagus and I have to confess that this gratin was to die for! We had it with pan fried haddock and roasted cherry tomatoes which worked really well. Thank you home organics for this great recipe

  2. Ciara Says:

    I cooked this for friends over the weekend – it was divine. My friends wanted to lick the plate! They loved it. Thanks for this recipe – i t was so so easy to do 🙂


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