The arrival of English asparagus heralds the arrival of spring. All around Kent as the beautiful spears pop up their heads, so too do the roadside signs offering this wonderful gem of a vegetable.
It is a short season of around eight weeks from mid-April to mid-June when we get to taste the delights of this upright and majestic vegetable – probably introduced to our region by the Romans – and it is one which must be celebrated.
The English have the sweetest asparagus, much preferable to the Belgian celebrated ‘white’ variety and heaps more delightful than that imported from Peru.
Rich in vitamins, asparagus spears differ in size and weight because they’re hand grown and individually cut. Look for firm, green spears with tight, crisp tips. As asparagus is grown in sandy soil, always wash well and trim any white woody ends. Sweet and tender – the simplest method for cooking is to boil – or steam – for three to six minutes depending on size and test with a skewer. Serve, drizzled with a little butter.
If you have a little time on your hands, go that bit further by making a delectable Hollandaise sauce and serve warm. Alternatively, if you want a delightful lunch or supper dish, try this heavenly Asparagus & Gruyere Tart.I love this beyond measure!
Diane and her husband Robert run the Cookery Studio – a new & innovative cookery school in Badlesmere, just ten minute’s drive from Faversham. They run regular classes in a variety of cuisines & techniques (one of which we tried ourselves!) with an emphasis on provenance and responsibly sourced and seasonal foods. If you’re a member of the Macknade Community you’ll receive a 10% discount on courses at the Cookery Studio in May 2015. Just quote your Community Card number when booking. Find out more about the Cookery Studio here.