I love asparagus and we have it nearly every day while it’s in season. I might even try pickling some!! From now on Jason will have plenty of medium sized asparagus and every week or two the girls at Fresh Gardens will have their skinny asparagus. I always buy both. It’s so easy to make something quick and delicious if you have asparagus on hand – simply steamed and topped with a poached egg and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, or richer with the addition of hollandaise sauce; roasted in a little olive oil and drizzled with good quality balsamic vinegar; steamed and served with miso butter or topped with a finely chopped hardboiled egg and grated parmesan……I could go on. Our chefs are also including asparagus in their dishes. Sarah made delicious danishes on Sunday. They were filled with asparagus, Parma ham, artichoke purée and Tallegio cheese.
I also include asparagus in other dishes. Using what I’d bought home from the market last weekend – a rotisserie chicken and a piece of fresh Ora King salmon – I made the following recipes:
Ingredients (for 2)
2 pieces of salmon, skin removed
1 cup dry white wine
1 large shallot, peeled, finely chopped
1-2 bay leaves
1 small sprig parsley
1 tsp black peppercorns
6-8 mussels, scrubbed clean
4-5 tbsp unsalted butter
Bunch of asparagus, sliced diagonally
½ cup frozen peas
Chopped chives and finely chopped parsley also dill and tarragon if you like
Salt and pepper
Put the wine, shallots, peppercorns, 1 tbsp butter, bay and sprig of parsley in a pot and simmer for five minutes. Add the mussels, turn off the heat once they’ve opened.
Remove the mussels and set them aside taking some out of the shells. Strain the liquid into a pan which you’ll use for poaching the salmon. Simmer.
Season the salmon and add to simmering liquid. Poach till the salmon is cooked to your liking. Take it out and keep it warm while you finish the sauce. Tablespoon by tablespoon add the butter stirring all the time. Then add the sliced asparagus and peas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mussels and finely chopped herbs. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon at this stage.
Put the salmon on each plate and spoon over the vegetables, sauce and mussels. When I made this on Monday night we were half way through eating and I realised that I’d forgotten to put the mussels back in so that’s why they’re not in the photo. If you don’t want to add the mussels use fish stock and wine for the poaching liquid.