Saturday, September 21, 2013

Asparagus on toast

And then finally, after months and months of deep, dark winter, true signs of spring start appearing in our veggie garden and on our farm. Everywhere you looks there are blossoms, new leaves, shoots and growth. Plants and trees that have sat still for a whole season look like they are finally waking up, stretching out and preparing for the warm days to come.

Asparagus is one of the first and truest signs of spring, after the daffodils.

Every year when spring-time comes I stop my car half way down the driveway most days to check for the green spears. Every year I walk up and down the asparagus row and carefully examine the mounds for any green shoots. I curse myself for not remembering to clear it of weeds better and inevitably snag myself or my clothing on the blackberry thorns.

By the time spring comes along, I am desperate for new flavours. I am grateful for the leafy greens and broccoli that have kept us going for the past few months over the hungry gap, but am keen for something new.

This year I got distracted and after careful searching for days, I didn't get back to the asparagus patch for a week. In this time I had seen localish asparagus at the fruit and veg shop in town and was confident ours wouldn't be too far behind.

And then one fine afternoon I grabbed the girls in between farm chores and together we went to survey the scene. And we were rewarded big time!

With fists full of the glorious green spears.

We wandered up and down the row cheering and picking and tasting and dreaming of the feast we were going to cook up for lunch.

My farmer boy cooked it.

He heated up a knob of butter and a dash of olive oil in a hot pan.
He placed the asparagus in the pan and cracked some black pepper and some rock salt on top.
And then he shook the pan occasionally to coat the asparagus and turn them.
We like ours a bit charred so he cooked them for a few minutes and then tipped them out onto some sour dough and then drizzled the rest of the juice over the top.
And lastly, a squeeze of lemon.

Simple. Seasonal. Scrumptious!!

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that practically grows before your eyes and needs to be picked each day. So over the first few weeks of spring we'll prepare it in every way we can think of. Old recipes and new faves.

Until just like that, we'll get a bit sick of eating it and asparagus season will be over again for another year. Seasonal growing and eating is clever like that.

Do you love asparagus?
What's your fave way to dish it up?

Happy weekend peeps!



  1. I love aspargus lightly grilled then used as little soldiers dipped into soft boiled eggs... Yum! Would love to grow my own one day :-)

    1. Yes that is probably my most favourite way to eat asparagus too.

  2. hmmm yum, haven't seen a single spear for sale here yet. with a splurt of good aoili and some nice sourdough toast.

  3. love it like this but blanched and then tossed with a lemony, creamy taglietelle is also good :-)

  4. Yum Yum Yum!!!
    I only thought the other day "Where's the asparagus in our lives!"

  5. thats the best way to eat it! I love asparagus!

  6. Happy weekend to you too and thanks! Great to read your article in the mag too, I've been reading your blog a while - your photography is stunning. xx

  7. YUM!! I love asparagus, and cook it the same way - simple is best!! Happy Spring!

  8. We had Albany Farmers' Market fresh asparagus today for lunch, prepared the River Cottage way - Boil eggs for 4 minutes while you steam the asparagus over the top. Into your soft egg (which is sitting in an eggcup by now and has been deheaded) place a mini dollop of butter, a pinch of salt and a teeny bit of apple cider vinegar and, hey presto, you have your own hollandaise dipping sauce egg. Yum Yum YUm!!! We use a small eye dropper to deliver the vinegar, and frequently find ourselves replenishing the egg time and time again. It's so gooood!!
    Happy asparagus eating! xx

  9. I adore asparagus and have another year to wait until I can start to harvest the spears I planted last spring. But I have a big bag sitting in my fridge from the farm down the road waiting for some poached eggs and sourdough, and perhaps a pearl barley and leek risotto. Have fun munching your way through your patch. x

  10. It's only been in very (very!) recent years that I've grown to love asparagus. Yours look completely delicious and makes me want some toast right now.... !

  11. I love asparagus but have never thought to have it on toast. It looks delicious. Our favourite way to eat it is in a messy pile with shavings of parmesan and a dribble of balsamic vinegar, topped with a poached egg.

    Heather x

  12. We like it nice and simple - sauteed in some olive oil with some rosemary and thyme, sea salt and black pepper. When we moved into our house there was an old overgrown asparagus patch in the backyard. I loved seeing the random spears start to stick up here and there. Unfortunately we didn't take the time to cultivate it (too much else going on with an old farmhouse) and it has petered out. It is so interesting reading your blog and seeing the seasons reversed from where I live.

  13. I love asparagus! I'm just sad that we don't own our house and therefore if we plant it here, then it's staying here :-(. I just love it cooked simply, a dash of oil, a squeeze of lime juice and some salt and pepper. Delicious!

  14. We love it but our allotment is not big enough to give over a patch to it. My neighbour has a son who is dating an asparagus farming family beauty so we do alright with the bendy ones they can't sell (stupid I know)we have it grilled with lemon and butter sometimes with a poached egg if the chooks are laying. Jo x

  15. Roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil and garlic,mmmm,so delicious!

  16. I LOVE asparagus! I have many magical memories of collecting it wild in the French Pyrenees where I used to live. We were in a fruit and veg shop last week when my son (6) spotted the first seasons asparagus, and he was like, 'YES! Asparagus! I love asparagus!' really loudly, clearly excited. There were lots of smiles in response. x

  17. I have to say that your blog is one of my favorite ones, and I haven`t even read that much, I`ve mostly looked at your pictures. I don`t know but when I see your pictures I just want to jump right in and join, you seem to have found more peace and calm then most people. As I said, I don`t know, but I will keep reading to see what I find out.

  18. How lovely! My all-time favourite method of cooking asparagus is roasted with lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil and a slosh of white wine. Ten minutes at 200 degrees so that its slightly blackened but still crunchy. Our bed should produce both green and purple spears through to the beginning of December - isn't it just the very best vege at this time of the year?

  19. Oh my do I love asparagus and as I think you're quite near me, I'm going to be hunting up some local asparagus this week after seeing yours. I'd love to grow my own, one I will, but for now I'll have to make do with others doing the growing for me. I love using the spears as soldiers in a boiled egg, or having them on sourdough with a poached egg, running yolk coating the spears and soaking into the bread. Yum!

  20. I love asparagus too but it's very difficult to plant here in Ireland.

  21. Sounds and looks delicious. I thought my solo crown had died but digging around where I'd been tipping mulch I found it with two spindly speers sticking out. I need to move it. It was in glorious sunshine but an acacia tipped and liked it's new vantage so much it's grown to such an enormous size and shaded my vegetable patches.

  22. Our season is so short that I don't have time to tire of asparagus. Best way to eat it with melted butter, closely followed by dipping the spears in a soft boiled duck egg. Only 8 months to wait until ours is ready to cut.

  23. Our neglected asparagus patch has been rewarding us too. My favourite is wrapped in prosciutto and lightly fried. Yum!

  24. Ohhhh I love asparagus... got a long wait until it's back in season over here though! Broccoli it is for me ;)

  25. i only just discovered your blog and will be stopping by often. you seem to lead an admirable life and i applaud you on the scaling down project and wish you all the best.oh, and i love buttery, lemony asparagus too.

  26. I love asparagus, steamed with a Hollandaise sauce. Or I also like it on the top of a quiche.

    Enjoyed reading about you and Vantastic in Mollie Makes Issue 31 (also want to knit the colour-block vest from that issue)!!


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