Simple and seasonal English asparagus

Fresh asparagus salad

Simplicity. Reducing a thing back to its essence. It’s something that’s at the heart of many beautiful things and successul ideas. Google and Apple, Jamon Iberico and sashimi, pizza and kebabs. All very simple.

When you pare something right back, you can’t obfuscate or camouflage. And you must use the very best ingredients. Which is why the English asparagus season is such a wonderful time of year.

You don’t need to mess with them, make complex reductions or precariously balance flavours. Just steam, boil or grill until they are done. Eat them with a little lemon juice and melted butter. Or with a poached egg, even some hollandaise (although, heretic that I am, I prefer the first two).

Trim the woody ends, boil for 3-5 minutes (depending on their thickness), then serve. Don’t mess with them, don’t fiddle. Just cook, eat, enjoy.

I had the ones above on a salad with pine nuts and parmesan and dressing consisting of 2tblsp white wine vinegar, 5tblsp EV olive oil, 2tsp dijon mustard.

9 Responses to “Simple and seasonal English asparagus”

  1. meemalee

    Asparagus really is the dog’s proverbial when treated well.

    I had some on Friday at Launceston Place with hollandaise and sunflower seeds and it was reet good.

  2. The Grubworm

    @meemalee – it is isn’t it. Utterly magnificent combo of subtle taste a great texture. Totally different ballgame to out-of-season spears from Peru. It’s almost up there with Alphonso mangoes as my favourite seasonal treat.

  3. Mr Noodles

    I love asparagus with grilled as my favourite way of cooking the spears. Also not bad in a stir-fry, posh-ish Cantonese places like to pair it up with king prawns or scallops.

  4. The Grubworm

    I tend to prefer the thinner spears grilled and the thicker ones steamed. Although I boil for convenience (in my frying pan). Now pairing it with scallops really makes sense, another ingredient that rewards a simple preparation.

  5. paul

    Excellent salad GW ! I love the english asparagus season, as you say, a totally different vegetable from the out of season peruvian veg, so loved by the supermarkets!

  6. Jen

    Asparagus is fantastic. And the poached egg trick is divine. I only wish they didn’t make your pee smell!

  7. The Grubworm

    @Paul – thanks! I’ve given up totally on the Peruvian stuff, it kinda takes away the joy and excitement of asparagus season…

    @Jen – it is fantastic – I love it. Even the pee smelling thing, it took me three years to associate one with the other – i thought i was afflicted with some dreadful pain-less disease at first ;-)

  8. shayma

    DOUSED in olive oil, grilled, then dipped in a tart mustard is how i like mine. lovely photo- simplicity is best.

  9. The Grubworm

    @Shayma – thanks! Olive oil or melted butter, grilled or steamed… Daddy or chips! Even those few choices are hard to make…

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