Hand drawn image of Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis

Delicate, tender, and bursting with spring sweetness – the flavour of asparagus just can’t be beaten. It’s the ultimate challenge for an organic grower, but this veg delicacy is worth the trouble. Steam gently, then dress with melted butter and a scrunch of salt and pepper. Irresistible.

Image of Asparagus being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Will keep for several days. Best eaten as soon as possible. Keep in the fridge. If you haven’t devoured it in the first few days then standing it upright in a cup of water can prolong its vim for a while longer.

Prep & Cooking tips

You’ll need to trim away any tough stalk ends before cooking. The prescribed trick for this is to hold the spear at each end and gently, evenly bend until it snaps. The clean breaking point is where tough meets tender. The spears will take 2-3 mins to boil or steam. They’ll roast in a hot oven if well-oiled in about 7-8 mins or yield to a griddle or BBQ in half that time. Try shaving them into thin ribbons with a swivel-top peeler and adding them raw to a salad.

Video: How to cook asparagus

Easy ideas

1. Roasted

You needn’t always steam or boil your spears. Oiled and seasoned, they will roast in a hot oven in about 8-10 mins; they’ll yield to a griddle or BBQ in half that time.
Try throwing generous slices into a tray of roasting new potatoes for the final 10 mins, garnish with some thyme and crumbled sheep’s cheese. Try our recipe for roasted asparagus with hazelnut dressing

2. Well dressed

At its simplest all you need is a little olive oil, lemon juice and a turn of pepper. Melted butter always ticks the box, but can be taken to another level if allowed brown a little to release some complex, nutty aromas. Try a simple vinaigrette, maybe laced with orange zest and coarsely chopped hazelnuts.

3. Eggs

Asparagus seems to strike a culinary chord with the humble cackleberry in all its forms. Use it instead of toasted soldiers with a runny boiled egg. Attempt a daunting but delectable hollandaise sauce as a dip or dressing; a homemade mayo works well too, lifted with a little chopped garlic and anchovy.
Pile some roasted spears onto buttered toast, grate over a hardboiled egg and finish with a garnish of chopped parsley, capers and celery salt. For a simple dinner throw some cooked and chopped asparagus together with hot pasta, crispy bacon bits and a couple of egg yolks; the heat of the pasta should turn the yolks into a silken sauce, finish with parmesan.

Goes well with

Citrus (Orange, Lemon)
Nuts (Hazelnuts, Pine nuts)
Prosciutto and bacon
Butter
Mint
Mushrooms
New potatoes
Peas
Parmesan
Eggs

Asparagus recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: Clive Martin, March, Cambridgeshire

    Clive Martin grows organic rhubarb, asparagus and more on Bedlam Farm in the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire, known for its rich, peaty soils.

    Read more

Seasonality

In our boxes from early May to mid/late June - one of the first signs of spring.
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec

Varieties

  • Picture of Purple asparagus

    Purple asparagus

    These violet-hued stems have a sweet, delicate flavour and are tender enough to be eaten raw. Their handsome dark colouring is only skin deep; the flesh within is creamy pale green.

  • Picture of White asparagus

    White asparagus

    Revered on the continent for its fatter spears and sweeter, delicate flavour. The difference is all in the growing: white asparagus is grown underground, preventing the spears from photosynthesising and going green.

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