Friday, 18 May 2012
It's one of my favourite flavour seasons of the year now . . . Aspagarus season! The shops are slowly beginning to stock fresh British Asparagus, which I believe is the most delicious tasting asparagus in the world!!
Of course there is asparagus readily available all year round . . . but it more often than not comes from Peru. Nothing against Peru . . . but . . . do you really want to eat asparagus that's been grown half a world away, sprayed with something to keep lasting longer . . . and pasted onto our grocery shop shelves some what . . . multiple days or even weeks later???
I think NOT! Yuck!! I turn my nose up at that tasteless foreign stuff all year round . . . I'm waiting for Spring when our English Asparagus comes into season, I'm ready to line up and partake as often as I can. It is a short season and I want to indulge myself as much as I can during those few weeks in May and June when it's available!
I love it steamed, until it's crispy tender and still nicely green . . . dipped into melted lemon butter, or hollandaise sauce . . . it's also a real treat used as soldiers instead of toast with your soft boiled eggs. It makes beautiful pasta dishes, even more gorgeously delicious . . . goes wonderfully with chicken . . .
It's absolutely breathtakingly delish in salads . . . or wrapped in pancetta and grilled. It makes fabulously tasty spring tarts and is wonderful with poached or scrambled eggs. In fact it's just wonderful when paired with eggs, full stop!
But how I really love it . . . is when it's roasted in a hot oven. I simply toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and then spread it out onto a baking sheet. I roast it for 8 to 10 minutes in a hot oven. As soon as it comes out of the oven I spritz it with some white balsamic vinegar and sprinkle it with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese. Oh, my . . . but it is some good done that way.
Today I've simply steamed it and then layered it in a delicious open faced sandwich for two. Layered on a crisp ciabatta roll, which has been spread with some pesto mayonnaise, along with some ham, sliced tomatoes and lotsa cheese, this went down a real treat.
I just love knife and fork sandwiches don't you???
*Open Faced Asparagus Melts*
A delicious open faced grilled sandwich, filled with the lovely flavours of delicious fresh Spring asparagus!
16 good sized spears of fresh asparagus
3 TBS fat free mayonnaise
1 TBS ready made Green Pesto
1 ciabatta roll, cut in half, with the top half trimmed
so that it will lie flat
2 slices of baked ham
4 thick slices of ripe tomato
2 TBS of grated low fat mozarella cheese
2 TBSl of grated emmenthaler cheese
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Trim the asparagus. Snap off any woody ends and trim off the little pointy bits along the stem. (These can be bitter.) Wash well. Steam, covered for 2 minutes, until crispy tender.
Preheat the grill. (Broiler)
Combine the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl. Spread 2 TBS of the mixture onto each ciabatta half. Place onto a baking sheet. Pop under the grill for a vew minutes until the pesto mayo is bubbling. Remove from the oven and then layer each slice with one piece of ham and half of the asparagus. Place two slices of tomato on top of each. Sprinkle each with 1 TBS of each of the cheeses and season with a grating of black pepper.
Grill for a few minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and just turning golden brown.
I'll let you in on another really tasty, simple way to prepare it. Wash and dry your asparagus really well. Trim off the woody ends and those bitter little points. Roll it in low fat mayonnaise to coat . . . and then roll it in grated Parmesan Cheese. Place on a buttered sheet of parchment paper you've placed on a baking tray and roast it at a hot temperature (200*C/400*F/ gas 6) for about 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the spears) until the cheese is melted, the spears are tender and the whole thing is scrummy, Scrummy, SCRUMMY!