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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Seasonal Tips


The wonderful thing about eating seasonally is that it really makes an occasion out of consuming the best produce. The British asparagus season is finally upon us and I've enjoyed the building anticipation before it finally arrive in the shops.
Foreign asparagus is available all year round and I think it has diminished the specialness of it, plus, in my opinion, you really can't top the British variety.

Although I enjoy doing some kitchen gardening, I've never attempted growing asparagus myself as I confess I'm rather too impatient. From planting the crowns, I believe it takes around a cycle of two years before it reaches maturity and is good enough to harvest. I think I'll leave that to the experts. Once fully flourishing though, the spears can be cut after which it takes only 24 hours for a new shoot to appear and grow to an appreciable length. After a slow start it goes off like a rocket!
Recently I discovered that it tastes so much better if you roast it.
The flavour becomes concentrated, something that boiling takes away. Just get your oven nice and hot, put the spears into an ovenproof dish, drizzle with some olive oil, pop in the oven for about 10 minutes and you have perfectly cooked asparagus.
I made a dish, this way (recipe here) using wild venison chorizo from
Great Glen Game, which complements the minerally taste of the asparagus so well.

Asparagus Tip: To keep the spears fresh treat them as you would cut flowers. Trim off a small amount from the bottom of the stems, place them in a jug of water and store in the fridge.

Photos: ©childsdesign 2011

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