That glorious warmth and sunny Easter has triggered the growth of our own asparagus and we’re now picking a wonderful crop. Labour intensive to grow and hand-picked to protect the delicate spears, it has a distinct delicate flavour, a wonderful bright-green colour and is truly one of the most delicious and versatile vegetables. Although imported throughout the year and the foreign varieties are a little cheaper, British asparagus is the best and worth buying if you can.
Prepare: Break off any woody ends – save these for use as extra flavour in soups and stews.
Healthy: Low in calories and packed with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, as well as folate and copper, calcium, protein and fibre. Eating asparagus also has potential health benefits including weight loss, improved digestion, healthy pregnancy outcomes and lower blood pressure.
Cook: Toss in a little olive oil and griddle or barbeque, roasting develops a lovely rich flavour, or steam or boil for 3 or 4 minutes.
Serve: Simply with good butter and squeeze of lemon or soy and chilli, with hollandaise for a touch of luxury, try raw too in a crunchy creamy salad or smoothie, dip into boiled egg, add to risotto, toss into pasta dishes, make into lasagne with crab or bake in a tart with cheese or smoked salmon.