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A busy day of gardening both at home and the allotment. 

We planted out some pea seedlings that Buddy had tried to destroy previously – fingers-crossed they will survive.  They are supported with some chicken wire and bamboo canes.

I went to Kenyon Hall Farm and spent large amounts of money on beautiful herbs, more pea and broad bean plants, two Delphiniums and some asparagus for tea.

At the allotment I planted out six types of thyme:

Common

Lemon

Golden

Doone Valley

Redstart

and Vey

As you can tell I love thyme!

Next followed two chive and two heartsease plants. 

These are added to the lavender, tarragon and sage plants already dug into my new herb beds.

Happy digging!

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The second asparagus recipe of the season, but one that doesn’t feature asparagus in its naked glory.  Usually I only eat asparagus on its own, with delicious extras that enhance its earthy flavours, so putting it into pasta was a first.  It was delicious, and I would definitely do it again.

Asparagus and mushroom pasta

Serves 2

Pasta (enough for two)
Bundle of asparagus
200g chestnut mushrooms
Spoonful of mascarpone cheese
Handful of grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180-200°C.

Cook the pasta as you normally would or according to the packet.

Prepare the asparagus by gently bending the stems until they naturally snap – discard the woody stem.  Pour a little olive oil into a roasting dish and add the asparagus.  Add a little salt and pepper and mix well before shoving in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the mushrooms and heat a knob of butter in a frying pan.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook on a high heat until they start to crisp and turn golden.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan.  Stir in a spoonful of mascarpone cheese, some salt and pepper, and a little extra virgin olive.  Tip in the cooked mushrooms.  Spoon the pasta onto your warm plates.

Cut the roasted asparagus into pieces – I used a pair of tongs and scissors.  Add the asparagus to the pasta, and top with some grated Parmesan and a drizzle of oil.

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The asparagus season has started here in England and I have been so looking forward to it.  For that reason, we are feasting on the stuff at any opportunity, and will probably be sick of it by the end of its short season.

This is a simple meal of asparagus, topped with a couple of crispy slices of streaky bacon, accompanied by some toast smothered in butter and a soft boiled egg to dunk the asparagus spears in.  You may see that I slightly over-cooked the egg so there was no dunking for us – not a mistake I will make again!

The asparagus came from Kenyon Hall Farm (also the people who run our box scheme Northern Harvest).  The eggs were from Abbey Leys Farm – I follow Delia’s method for boiling eggs.  The streaky bacon was care of Sue at Little Heath Farm, and the bread from Barbakan.  So all in all a pretty local meal – and a tasty one at that!

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Asparagus with crispy bacon and a soft boiled egg

Serves 2

Bundle of asparagus spears
4 slices streaky bacon
2 eggs
4 pieces of bread
Butter

Prepare the asparagus by gently bending the stems until they naturally snap – discard the woody stem. My preferred method of cooking asparagus is as follows (but feel free to cook them however you choose): Heat a narrow pan of water about half full until simmering. Use an elastic band to gently fasten the bundle of prepared asparagus together and place in the simmering water – the water should come at least half way up the stems. I use another pan of equal size, placed upside down on top of the first pan. This method enables the stems to cook in the water, and the delicate tops to gently steam.

Meanwhile, put your eggs on to boil – I follow Delia’s method for soft boiled eggs.

Cook the streaky bacon in a frying pan until nice and crisp.

When the asparagus is cooked, turn of the heat. Pop the slices of bread into the toaster and lightly toast. Take the cooked eggs out of the water and pop into your favourite egg cup – gently cut the top off to reveal the golden yolk. Butter your toast and pop it on the plate, along with a pile of steaming asparagus and top with the crispy bacon.

Eat immediately!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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