I’m not normally one to delay gratification, though certain seasonal veg require that I do and are well worth the wait. One of these ranks high on my list of favourites (and accordingly has a spot on my blog’s photo header), especially since I can source it from a farm just a few minutes from both my home and shop: asparagus!
Local asparagus from Emmetts Farm
Mine comes from Emmetts Farm in Little Marlow, who are well known locally for their freshly picked, pesticide-free asparagus among other home-grown veg. The ladies in the shop will tell you that what you see in the shop has just been picked in the fields, and because the spears are harvested frequently, the stalks don’t get a chance to toughen, thereby giving us much more tender (and tasty) asparagus.
On my next day off I decided to take a little time to enjoy my very own vegetarian breakfast of champions – locally-sourced too – including soft-boiled organic eggs, steamed asparagus and hot buttered multi-seed ‘low GI’ toast (a speciality from Cornfield Bakery). Keeping it healthy, I didn’t feel the need to smother the asparagus in hollandaise or any other sauce – just lashings of black pepper. If only I could make time to start every day with a meal like that.
Local asparagus with soft-boiled eggs and multi-seed toast for breakfast
For something a bit more Mediterranean, I used asparagus as a side to a fish dish: seared Mediterranean sea bass over a potato puree and topped with slow-roasted baby tomatoes. A tangy shallot, rosemary and white wine sauce drizzled over both the fish and the steamed asparagus spears balanced all the flavours. To any fellow foodies reading this, the combination of asparagus, tomatoes and fish provides a major umami hit – delicious!
Seared sea bass in shallot & white wine sauce with asparagus, slow-roasted tomatoes and potato mash
Paired with a chilled glass of viognier and the evening sun pouring through the window, this dish was a lovely way to ring in an early summer crop and, well, an early summer itself.