Recipes

Asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very low in sodium.  It is a good source of Vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, dietary fibre, and rutin.

Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and a medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties.

Asparagus, Pancetta and Parmesan Linguine with Chive Cream

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 8 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

You'll need:

8 stems of asparagus
50g of thick cut pancetta (diced)
50ml of double cream
50ml of vegetable stock
150g linguine
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp grated parmesan
Salt and pepper

What to do:

1) Start by cooking the pasta in a pan of slightly salted boiling water until cooked; make sure the pasta is still slightly al dente, drain and drizzle with a little olive oil to stop from sticking together.

2) Put a medium sized frying pan on the heat add a drizzle of oil, finely slice six stems of asparagus, with the other two stems cut into four pieces. Put them all in the pan and sauté on a medium heat, now add the diced pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the cream, vegetable stock and parmesan, then add the cooked pasta and the chopped chives, cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, if the sauce gets a little thick add a touch of water.

3) Once cooked serve with a grating of fresh parmesan and a little seasoning.

Asparagus, Goats Cheese and Smoked Bacon Quiche

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

You'll need:

Pastry; or buy readymade short crust pastry
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter (room temp)
1 egg
2 tbsp water

For the filling:

2 rashers of thick smoked back bacon (finely chopped)
100g of goat's cheese
300ml double cream
200ml of milk
4 medium eggs
Salt & pepper
6 sprigs of asparagus
30g butter
2 tbsp grated parmesan

What to do:

1) Start by making the pastry; sift your flour into a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix the egg, then add to the flour and bring together with your hands, add the water and knead on a cold floured surface until fully mixed. Then cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

2) Next remove your pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface until it's an even thickness of about 1/2 - 1cm. Get your loose bottomed tart case (20cm diameter by 3-4cm deep. Grease the tart case with butter then line it with your pastry making sure you press into the edges of the tart case all the way round (use a 2cm ball of pastry to do this to stop from piercing the pastry). Prick all over the pastry base with a fork, to release trapped air and stop the pastry from rising.

3) Now line the pastry case with parchment paper, fill it with baking beans or rice. Then place onto a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes at 190c, then remove the beans and the paper from the case, brush the pastry with a little milk or egg wash, then pop back in the oven at 180c for 10 more minutes until golden, remove from oven and set aside.

4) For the filling melt the butter in a pan and add the diced smoked bacon, fry until golden brown and cooked, then set aside. Now get your asparagus spears trim of the hard root, cut them length ways then add to a hot griddle pan with a little oil & cook until charred. Spoon the bacon mixture into the cooked pastry case, add the asparagus and crumble the goat's cheese on top. Make your mix up by adding the cream & milk to a jug adding the eggs and whisking together, add a little salt and pepper to season.

5) Then pour the mix into the pastry case, don't worry if you have some mix left over. Sprinkle the top with the grated parmesan and bake the tart in the oven at 180c for about 20-30 minutes until the filling is golden and the mix is set.

To serve:

Slice a good size piece of quiche and put onto your plate, serve with fresh watercress

British Asparagus and Cheese Muffins

Makes 12 large muffins
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 25 - 30 minutes

Ingredients

12 spears of British asparagus
400g self raising flour
200g Joseph Heler Cheshire cheese, cut into small cubes
125g butter
1 small bunch chives, snipped into pieces
150ml milk
100ml plain yogurt
1tsp Suffolk Mud English mustard
2 eggs
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.

2) Cut the asparagus stems into small pieces, about 1cm in length, leaving the tips a little longer and blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water, separating the tips from the pieces of stem.

3) In a large bowl, mix the flour with the cubes of cheese.

4) Melt the butter and pour into a jug. Stir through the chives, milk, yogurt, Suffolk Mud mustard and eggs. Mix well until combined and season generously with salt & pepper.

5) Gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour & cheese, and stir through the asparagus stems. Be careful not to over mix and stop as soon as the mixture is combined.

6) Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cases and push an asparagus tip into the middle of each. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden. Best eaten hot out of the oven, spread with a little cold butter.

Asparagus Risotto

500g Kentish Asparagus
1 Finely Chopped Onion
75g Butter
300g Arborio Rice
750ml Hot Chicken or Vegetable Stock
50g Freshly Grated Parmesan
Black Pepper

Clean the asparagus and trim any white ends or peel with a vegetable peeler.

Gently fry the onion in the butter until it becomes translucent.

Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat, stirring so that it gets a good coating of butter.

Add a ladle of hot stock at a time and continue stirring until all the stock has been used.

Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for 3-6 minutes.  Chop roughly once it is cooked.

Add a knob of butter, the asparagus, half the parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper to the risotto and give it a stir.

Serve your risotto in warm bowls with a sprinkling of parmesan on top of each serving.

Asparagus and Hot Tuna Nicoise Salad

Serves 4

250g Kentish asparagus
2 green Chillies de-seeded and finely chopped
4 tuna steaks
2 tbsps crushed black peppercorns
2 tbsps olive oil
4 eggs
4 handfuls mixed salad leaves
olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
salt and pepper for seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 190ºC.  Place the Kentish asparagus onto a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsps of olive oil and add chopped green chillies.  Put in oven for 10 mins.

Rub tuna steaks with crushed black peppercorns to form a crust.  Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a griddle pan and at the same time place a pan of water on to boil for the eggs.

Add the tuna to hot griddle pan and cook for 2 mins on both sides for rare steaks or to taste.  Once cooked leave to rest for a few minutes.

Put eggs into boiling water and cook to taste.  While these are cooking assembly the salad.  Place the salad on a plate followed by the asparagus spears.  Slice the tuna and lay on top of the salad and asparagus.

Remove eggs for pan and peel under running water.  Then halve them and place a soft egg on to each plate.  Season well with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy.

Asparagus Tartlets with Goats Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Rocket

Serves 4

1 tbsp flour
375g ready rolled puff pastry
125g Kentish asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Salt for seasoning
75g roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes plus 1 tbsp oil for jar
125g crumbled goat’s cheese
2 handfuls of rocket
balsamic vinegar to drizzle
Preheat oven to 230 ºC

Cut pastry into 4 rectangles and place onto a floured baking tray.  Score the edges of each rectangle with a sharp knife

Mix the asparagus with the oil and sun-dried tomatoes.  Divide the mixture between the 4 pastry rectangles and top each one with a quarter of the goat’s cheese.

Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes

Remove from the oven.  Toss the rocket in the balsamic vinegar and place on top of the tartlets.

Sevenscore Farm, Sevenscore House, Sevenscore, Near Ramsgate, Kent, CT12 5DW - 01843 821218

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