Amazing asparagus four ways

Amazing Asparagus Four Ways

Serves 4 as a side or starter

  • Steamed Asparagus & quick tomato sauce:

  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 4 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes

  • 500 g asparagus

  • olive oil

  • 1 knob of butter

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • Worcestershire asparagus & mushrooms on toast:

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • olive oil

  • 4 slices of bread

  • 2 handfuls mushrooms

  • 500 g asparagus

  • 1 small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 8 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1-2 knobs of butter

  • Lemon buttered grilled asparagus & shaved Lancashire cheese:

  • 500 g asparagus

  • 1 knob of butter

  • 1 squeeze lemon juice

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch pepper

  • 2 large handfuls salad leaves

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch pepper

  • 1 squeeze lemon juice

  • crumbly British cheese, to serve

  • Minted raw asparagus salad with baby spinach & fresh garden peas:

  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves

  • 2 large handfuls spring peas

  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves

  • 8 large asparagus spears

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch pepper

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 small handful soft goat's cheese

Steamed Asparagus and Quick Tomato Sauce:



Bring 2.5cm of water to the boil in a large pan. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, slice 4 rashers of quality smoked streaky bacon into matchsticks, and halve 4 large ripe tomatoes. Grate the tomato halves cut side down on a fine grater, discarding the skins. Put 500g of washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) into a colander and place over the pan of boiling water. Cover with a lid or tin foil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Meanwhile, put a large frying pan on a high heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the sliced bacon. Once the bacon is crispy, add the rosemary leaves and cook for about 40 seconds, then remove both to a plate. Add a knob of butter to the same pan, then add the tomato, bring to the boil and season well. Move the asparagus to a serving platter, pour over the hot tomato sauce, scatter over the crispy bacon and rosemary and serve.



Worcestershire Asparagus and Mushrooms on Toast:



Peel and finely slice 4 cloves of garlic. Put a large frying pan on a high heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Whack 4 slices of nice bread into the toaster. Slice 2 handfuls of mushrooms (brushed clean) and 500g of washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) into bite-sized chunks. Add them to the hot pan with the sliced garlic and toss and fry for around 4 minutes. Finely chop a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley and add most of it to the pan, along with 8 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and a knob or two of butter. Take the pan off the heat and shake and stir around for 30 seconds, or until the sauce has reduced down. Season to taste, then spoon over the slices of hot toast and top with the rest of the parsley.



Lemon Buttered Grilled Asparagus and Shaved Lancashire Cheese:



Put your griddle pan on a high heat. Place 500g of washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) on the dry griddle pan. Turn and lightly char on both sides until just tender (roughly 2 to 3 minutes on each side), then toss in a large bowl with a knob of butter, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide between plates or serve on a big platter. Toss 2 large handfuls of salad leaves with a little extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Use a speed-peeler to shave over a nice crumbly British cheese like Lancashire or Ticklemore, and serve.



Minted Raw Asparagus Salad with Baby Spinach and Fresh Garden Peas:



Put 2 large handfuls of washed baby spinach leaves and 2 large handfuls of freshly podded spring peas into a salad bowl. Finely slice a handful of fresh mint leaves and add to the bowl, then use a speed-peeler to shave 8 large spears of raw washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) into ribbons. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon, and drizzle over three times as much extra virgin olive oil. Crumble over a small handful of soft goat's cheese, then toss and serve on a platter. The peas always fall to the bottom of the bowl, so pick them up, scatter them over the top and serve.

Nutritional Information

Amazing asparagus four ways

Steamed, grilled, minty and on toast

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Make the most of beautiful, in-season asparagus with these simple recipes – you'll love them all
Serves 4 as a side or starter
20m
Super easy
Method

Asparagus is the first vegetable of spring, and an absolute joy to eat. These quick little recipes are some of my favourite ways to prepare it. Make sure you try them all – they're equally good.

Steamed Asparagus and Quick Tomato Sauce:

Bring 2.5cm of water to the boil in a large pan. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, slice 4 rashers of quality smoked streaky bacon into matchsticks, and halve 4 large ripe tomatoes. Grate the tomato halves cut side down on a fine grater, discarding the skins. Put 500g of washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) into a colander and place over the pan of boiling water. Cover with a lid or tin foil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Meanwhile, put a large frying pan on a high heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the sliced bacon. Once the bacon is crispy, add the rosemary leaves and cook for about 40 seconds, then remove both to a plate. Add a knob of butter to the same pan, then add the tomato, bring to the boil and season well. Move the asparagus to a serving platter, pour over the hot tomato sauce, scatter over the crispy bacon and rosemary and serve.

Worcestershire Asparagus and Mushrooms on Toast:

Peel and finely slice 4 cloves of garlic. Put a large frying pan on a high heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Whack 4 slices of nice bread into the toaster. Slice 2 handfuls of mushrooms (brushed clean) and 500g of washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) into bite-sized chunks. Add them to the hot pan with the sliced garlic and toss and fry for around 4 minutes. Finely chop a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley and add most of it to the pan, along with 8 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and a knob or two of butter. Take the pan off the heat and shake and stir around for 30 seconds, or until the sauce has reduced down. Season to taste, then spoon over the slices of hot toast and top with the rest of the parsley.

Lemon Buttered Grilled Asparagus and Shaved Lancashire Cheese:

Put your griddle pan on a high heat. Place 500g of washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) on the dry griddle pan. Turn and lightly char on both sides until just tender (roughly 2 to 3 minutes on each side), then toss in a large bowl with a knob of butter, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide between plates or serve on a big platter. Toss 2 large handfuls of salad leaves with a little extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Use a speed-peeler to shave over a nice crumbly British cheese like Lancashire or Ticklemore, and serve.

Minted Raw Asparagus Salad with Baby Spinach and Fresh Garden Peas:

Put 2 large handfuls of washed baby spinach leaves and 2 large handfuls of freshly podded spring peas into a salad bowl. Finely slice a handful of fresh mint leaves and add to the bowl, then use a speed-peeler to shave 8 large spears of raw washed asparagus (woody ends snapped off) into ribbons. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon, and drizzle over three times as much extra virgin olive oil. Crumble over a small handful of soft goat's cheese, then toss and serve on a platter. The peas always fall to the bottom of the bowl, so pick them up, scatter them over the top and serve.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 142
    7%
  • Carbs 3.1g
    1%
  • Sugar 2.7g 3%
  • Fat 11.5g 16%
  • Saturates 4.4g 22%
  • Protein 5.0g 11%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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