In the kitchen
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.
If your asparagus is particularly thick, try trimming off the woody ends rather than relying on the bend-and-snap trick (you should be able to feel where the spear becomes more tender), and split the spears into halves or quarters lengthways before cooking.
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.
- 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.
Asparagus seems to strike a culinary chord with the humble egg 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
Asparagus and anchovy mayonnaise
Serves: 2 Total time: 10 min
Asparagus and sheep's cheese frittata
Serves: 2 Total time: 25 min
Raw asparagus and fennel salad
Serves: 2 Total time: 10 min
BBQ grilled asparagus
Serves: 4 Total time: 15 min
Asparagus & blue cheese tart
Serves: 4 Total time: 40 min
Asparagus, spinach and lentil salad
Serves: 2 Total time: 40 min
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.
SeasonalityIn our boxes from early May to mid/late June - one of the first signs of spring.
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.
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.