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Unusual Ways with Asparagus

Now is the time to cook up a green storm in the kitchen as this season’s asparagus has made its way onto the Fodder shelves (at last!).

We’ve been waiting for this popular veg as it’s grown to perfection just down the road from us at George Morrell’s farm in Plumpton.

The family farm has been running since the 1920s and each year produces over 10,000 kilos of the famous vegetable.

The asparagus is grown naturally without the aid of polytunnels so the ground is fed with natural fertilisers in the winter and then left to sprout up in the spring.

The weather affects how fast the asparagus grows and it’s only picked when ready which is why we sometimes have to wait longer for it to arrive on our plates.

Here at Fodder we’ve cooked up some different ways of how to eat this delicious veg. Share your dishes with us on social media using the hashtag #yorkshireasparagus – we can’t wait to see your creations!

 

Raw Asparagus Pesto (perfect with hot pasta)

340g asparagus, trimmed and cut to inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
170g cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
70g cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
In a food processor, smooth together all of the ingredients to a thick consistency.  Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
The pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface for up to 1 week.

Baked Asparagus Fries

1 bunch of fresh asparagus
1 egg
70g plain flour
70g plain bread crumbs
70g Panko bread crumbs
70g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200*C. Wash and dry the asparagus well and chop off the hard ends. Roll each asparagus in the flour (the flour will NOT stick well, but try your best to coat it). In a plate combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk the egg with a fork, then pour over the asparagus on a plate. Take the asparagus and coat each one with egg using your fingers then roll in the bread crumbs and place on a lightly greased baking tray.Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until asparagus are golden brown and serve with a dip of your choice.

 

Mushroom and Asparagus Fritters

2 spring onions, finely sliced
6 diced portabello mushrooms
50g halloumi cheese, 1cm dice
1 bunch asparagus, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
170g plain flour
3 eggs
20ml single cream
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Rapeseed oil for shallow frying
Combine the onion, mushrooms, halloumi, asparagus and garlic in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, flour, eggs and cream and stir until combined and a thick batter forms. Heat 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a large heavy fry pan on medium high heat. Once heated drop heaped tablespoon sized portions of the batter into the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the underside is golden, then flip and cook the other side. Remove and place on kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining batter, ensuring you keep the oil topped up when necessary.

Asparagus, Crispy Prosciutto and Brie Grilled Cheese

4 large slices rustic bread (such as soda dough)
2tbsp of rapeseed oil
1 clove garlic
170g barncliffe brie
16 spears asparagus, ends trimmed
8 slices of prosciutto ham
salt
Heat the grill to medium heat. Slice the bread and drizzle the oil over both sides. Grill the bread on both sides until lightly golden and toasted, then rub each slice with the raw garlic clove, which will turn into a thin layer of garlic paste on the surface of the bread. In a pan, cook the asparagus until tender, sprinkle with salt. Layer slices of the brie on to each slice of bread and top with the asparagus and prosciutto. Grill the bread for around 4-5 minutes, or just until the cheese has started to melt.

Asparagus, sundried tomato and olive bread loaf

100ml rapeseed oil
250g asparagus, each cut into 3 pieces.
200g self-raising flour
1 tbsp thyme leaves
3 large beaten eggs
100ml milk
Handful of black pitted olives
100g sundried tomatoes
100g grated Gruyere
Pre heat the oven to 190*C. Oil and line of the base of a loaf tine with greaseproof paper. In boiling water, cook the asparagus for around two minutes and drain and cool under cold running water. Mix the flour and thyme in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and then add the eggs, milk and oil and stir continuously to draw the flour into the centre. Once the fluid is in, beat so ensure the mixture is combined together. Set aside 5 asparagus tips and a few olives and add the rest to the bread mixture along with the tomatoes and half of the cheese. Pour it into a tin and put the remaining tips, olives and cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the loaf feels firm to touch and is golden on top. Cool in the tin and serve.

Roasted Asparagus, Bacon & Cheese Tart

1 large bunch of medium-sized asparagus, with the ends snapped off
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 lemon zest
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 sheets of puff pastry
150g swaledale goats cheese
150g gouda cheese
10 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp torn mint leaves
coarse salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180*C. In a bowl, mix the asparagus, oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Unroll the sheets of puff pastry and use a knife to score a boarder, roughly 1 inch from the edge. Place on a baking tray and use a fork to poke holes within the boarder which will enable to boarder to puff up during baking. Spread the tomato puree on to the base and crumble over the goats’ cheese. Scatter over the bacon and marinated asparagus and top with the gouda cheese and mint leaves. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Asparagus Ice Cream

230g asparagus, ends trimmed
475ml milk
150g caster sugar
4 tsp corn or tapioca starch
3 tbps cream cheese, room temperature
pinch of salt
30ml corn or tapioca syrup (30ml)
300ml heavy cream
In a small bowl, whisk the corn or tapioca starch with 2 tablespoons of the milk until a smooth slurry is created. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and a small amount of cold water. Place a mesh sieve over an empty medium bowl. Place the asparagus and 230ml of milk in a food processor and blend until combined. In large saucepan toss in the puree, the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn or tapioca syrup. On medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. After the four minutes, remove from the heat and gradually whisk combine in the slurry mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.Remove from the heat and pour the mixture through the sieve and press against any remaining asparagus to extract as much milk as possible. Discard the bits of asparagus.Ladle a bit of the hot milk into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the rest of the hot milk. Pour the mixture into a freezer bag and seal. Plunge this into the ice water bowl and knead gently until the mixture is well chilled. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Spread into a shallow container, cover with plastic wrap, and seal with an air-tight lid. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours.

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