Asparagus Photo: Thinkstock
- When shopping, look for firm, bright, smooth spears of uniform size with closed, compact tips. To keep asparagus fresher for longer, wrap in a damp tea towel, pop in a plastic bag and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge.
- Asparagus can be simply dressed in a lemon vinaigrette or served as a delicious side with brown butter and toasted pine-nuts or flaked almonds. Or toss it in a dressing of orange juice, olive oil, roughly chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
- Make a delicious springtime salad of blanched asparagus, pink grapefruit and chervil.
- Make a scrumptious tart by arranging steamed asparagus in a simple line on a square of puff pastry. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Cut the pastry into four squares and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, shaved parmesan and a green salad.
- Serve steamed asparagus “soldiers” with a soft boiled egg and crisp pancetta for a posh twist on breakfast.
- Stir-fry sliced chicken fillet with asparagus and mixed Asian mushrooms. Add a dash of soy and honey and serve with steamed rice.
- Serve an entrée of steamed asparagus with smoked salmon and a lemon-flavoured crème fraiche.
- Toss blanched asparagus pieces through a salad of finely sliced fennel, orange slices and finely chopped mint.
- Asparagus is fantastic when grilled on the barbecue. Toss a few trimmed stalks in oil, then grill for a few minutes, turning regularly. Toss in a little lemon juice and olive oil and serve with barbecued chicken or salmon.
- For a vegetarian twist, barbecue your asparagus with strips of red capsicum and serve with rocket and a spoonful of goats’ curd.
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