Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I love, love, love all vegetables, the exceptions being swede, brussel sprouts and yams, but asparagus is one of my most favourite vegetables. I actually think it might be so special because you can only get it in that small window from late September until January or there abouts. When it is season we have it at least twice a week, sometimes more. If I am in a hurry I simply snap off the ends and steam it, but I also love it roasted, in salads and it also makes a great star in tarts or quiches.
I thought I would share two ways in which we had asparagus last week! The first (pictured above) was a delicious hot smoked salmon, cannellini bean and asparagus salad. It was quick and easy. I blanched the asparagus in boiling water and then cut each stem into three. I tossed the asparagus with two drained cans of cannellini beans, some chopped hazelnuts (toasted), halved cherry tomatoes, plenty of chopped parsley and flaked hot smoked salmon. I then drizzled the lot with a simple vinaigrette made with a crushed clove of garlic, lemon juice, good olive oil and salt and pepper. It was delicious!
The second meal is a very speedy version of frittata. Once again, I blanched my asparagus (I found some purple asparagus in the fruit and veg shop which I used for this), sprayed a ceramic dish (pyrex would be fine) with oil spray, placed the asparagus in the bottom, dotted over blue cheese, then pour over 6 eggs beaten with salt and pepper and about ½ c milk. Sprinkle over some grated parmesan and bake at 200c for about 20 minutes or until just set. This is a very quick Thursday night dinner with a bag of triple washed salad mix and some nice bread.