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Asparagus Risotto

2 lb. of Asparagus.
1 Shallot chopped finely.
2 finely chopped Garlic cloves
3 1⁄2 oz of Risotto rice, (Vialone is best).
2 oz of Butter.
1 cup of dry White Wine.
4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Salt and Black Pepper.

Cut off the extreme tips and chop the rest of the stalks.

Cook the stalks in boiling water to just cover until they go soft. In a blender, puree the stalks with their cooking water to make a thick stock. Add dry white wine and a small amount of salt, simmer over a low heat.

Steam or blanch the tips in boiling water. Remove the tips with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In a pan, melt half of the butter and cook the shallot until it turns soft.

Add the rice to the pan and let it begin to absorb the butter before adding a ladle of the asparagus stock. Keep stirring until it is absorbed.

Add another ladle of stock. Keep adding the stock, one ladle at a time, making certain not to drown the rice, until the rice is al dente (say 15-20 minutes). After the addition of the last ladle stir in the saved asparagus tips.
Serve, sprinkling with black pepper and the grated parmesan cheese.


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Linguine, Smoked Haddock and Asparagus

1 lb. Linguine (or Spaghetti).
1 lb. Smoked Haddock
1lb Fresh Asparagus
2 to 3 cloves Garlic
Cinnamon stick
2 tbs. extra vigil olive oil
110ml Dry white wine
1 tbs. roughly torn Basil leaves

Cut asparagus spears diagonally into 1inch pieces.

Remove and discard skin from smoked haddock, tear into 1 inch slices. Chop garlic finely.

Cook the linguine in boiling salted water for 6 minutes, add the asparagus and cook together until the pasta is al dente (another 3 to 4 minutes). Drain and return to pan.

Whilst the pasta is cooking prepare the smocked haddock. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Add the cinnamon stick, smoked haddock wine and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for only 3 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.

Toss the drained pasta with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and black pepper, add the smoked haddock and juices, check for seasoning and sprinkle over the roughly chopped basil leaves.



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Asparagus and Bacon

24 Asparagus spears
24 thin rashers unsmoked streaky Bacon
1 tbs. Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges


Heat oven to 425°

Wrap each asparagus spear with a rasher of bacon. Place onto a shallow roasting tin in a single layer. Sprinkle with the olive oil and lemon juice.
Place in oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges and grind black pepper over all.



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Asparagus with Wild Rocket and Parmesan Cheese

2 lbs. Asparagus
2 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
3 tbs. Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper
4 oz. thin slivers of Parmesan cheese
8 oz. Wild Rocket

Add asparagus spears to a large pan of boiling, salted water. Cook 3-5 minutes, till barely crisp-tender. Drain briefly under cold water. Spears should still be warm.

Make a bed of wild rocket on each plate and mound the asparagus on top. Shave thin slices of parmesan on top of the asparagus. Sprinkle with lemon juice, olive oil and pepper to taste.

Serve at once.
Thanks to Peter Jaques



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Asparagus Hors D'Oeuvres

Thanks to Anne Cashera for this lovely simple suggestion.

I bunch medium or large Asparagus, simmered for about 7 minutes in salted water. Ham of choice, either smoked or Parma (Anne prefers the latter). Wrap around the asparagus and then cool in the fridge.


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Oven Roasted Asparagus (Asparagus American Style)

For 4

Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2lb asparagus
1 slice smoked salmon cut into strips
Lemon wedges


Lay asparagus on oven-proof dish. Pour in olive oil to a depth of 1⁄4" approx, add sea salt and black pepper. Turn over the asparagus in the oil to ensure all surfaces are covered.

Roast in pre-heated oven (200�C, 385�F, Gas Mark 6) for 10 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a warmed serving dish and arrange smoked salmon over the spears.

Serve with lemon wedges.


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Asparagus � la Flamade (Asparagus Flemish Style)

For 6

3 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil or parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3lb asparagus
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
8oz butter
1 lemon

Hard boil and shell the eggs, chop them finely, add chervil and chives and mix well.

Wash asparagus spears and trim off tough ends. Place asparagus in salted water and cook until tender for 7-10 minutes.

Heat the butter in a heatproof glass bowl placed in a saucepan of simmering water, as soon as the butter has melted, remove the bowl and allow to cool. After a moment or two a white sediment will form on the bottom of the bowl. Pour the clear melted butter into a serving bowl, leaving the sediment behind.

Add the juice of the lemon to the clarified butter, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in one quarter of the egg and herb mixture. Drain the asparagus and arrange on a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with the remaining egg and herb mixture. Serve warm accompanied by the butter sauce.


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Hollandaise Sauce

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold water
Salt and pepper
1⁄2 lb soft butter
4 egg yolks

Combine 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, water, salt and pepper in the top of a double saucepan. Divide butter into four equal pieces. Add egg yolks and a quarter of the butter to the liquid in the saucepan and stir rapidly with a whisk over hot, but not boiling water, until the butter is melted and the mixture begins to thicken. Add the second piece of butter and continue whisking, as the mixture thickens and the second piece of butter melts, add the third piece of butter, stirring from the bottom of the pan until it is melted. Make sure the water underneath does not boil at any time. Add the rest of the butter, beating until it melts and is incorporated in the sauce.

Now remove the top part of the saucepan from the heat and continue to beat the sauce for 2-3 minutes longer. Replace the saucepan over the hot, but not boiling water for 2 more minutes, beating continuously. By this time the sauce should be rich and creamy. Add the rest of the lemon juice and serve.


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Asparagus Soup

1 1/2 bundles fresh asparagus
Salt and ground black pepper
60g butter
250g skinned & sliced onions
1.5 litres chicken stock
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
150g single cream
Small brown uncut loaf, fresh
Butter for spreading
Lemon slices, to garnish


Cut off the tips and cook very gently until just tender. Drain and cool; cover and refrigerate. Thinly slice the remaining stalks, discard any woody stems. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the sliced stalks and the onions, cover and cook over a moderate heat for 6-7 minutes or until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

Add the stock and parsley, season and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree in a processor or blender until quite smooth. Cool, then stir in the cream and season to taste.

Cut six thin slices of brown bread and butter them. Cut off the crusts and halve lengthwise. Roll the reserved tips inside each piece of bread; place on a serving dish, cover with cling film and refrigerate until required.

This soup can be served well chilled or hot, garnished with lemon and accompanied by the asparagus rolls.


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Grilled Asparagus (serves 4)

 20 - 24 medium spears of asparagus
about 125ml olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
8 thin slices prosciutto, torn in half
about 125g shaved parmesan

Drop the spears into lightly salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, lift out and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
When cool brush all over with olive oil, and also oil the ridges of a grill pan which has been heating up. Lay the asparagus on the grill pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until nicely charred in stripes, unless you have a huge grill pan you may need to do this in two or three goes.
Once they have finished cooking, lift them off the pan and leave to cool for another 10 minutes. Then lay them on four plates and dribble two tablespoons of olive oil over each plate. Add the lemon juice and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Lay small slices of prosciutto over all and top with a scattering of shaved parmesan.
Serve while still warm as a first course of as a light main dish.

asparagus bundle