asparagus Yuliia

Yuliia

Grown for thousands of years, asparagus is an ancient vegetable. Very popular in England, it is however only in season for around 8 weeks each spring, so if you have it, use it up to avoid wasting it! Its only drawback is that it can make your pee smell, and there’s no cure, so either enjoy it or not! The only ‘cure’ after eating is patience (and possibly drinking more water to get it out of your system!)

The word ‘asparagus’ comes from the Greek for ‘asparagos’ which means  to ‘sprout’. The spears are hand-picked so it’s not the cheapest of vegetables, but it’s one of the tastiest. Like all vegetables, it’s packed with good things and is easy to prepare (just bend the stalk to snap, then the eat the tender top part, and use the tough woody lower part in soups, stocks and stews).

To buy asparagus (take reusable produce bags to the store), look for plump firm stalks with the tips tightly closed. Ideally spears should be chilled or be sold standing in fresh cold water. Whether the asparagus is white, green or purple – ensure it has a bright colour (not faded).

To cook asparagus without a recipe, here is how you do it. You can eat asparagus raw, though you’ll need a good vegetable peeler to make ‘ribbons’. Fresh asparagus will keep in the fridge salad drawer for a few weeks, stored in a jug of cold water (loosely cover).

Before cooking, read up on food safety for people & pets (many human foods are unsafe near animal friends).

  • To boil asparagus, plunge spears in a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and immediately place in a bowl of water to which you’ve added ice cubes. Store in the fridge, then drain and heat in a pan with a little vegan butter. Alternatively, steam in a basket for a few minutes, then blanch in iced water as before.
  • To grill, coat spears with a little rapeseed or olive oil, then cook on a griddle pan at high heat, season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.  Turn now and then, they should be ready in a few minutes.
  • To roast, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast in a tray for around 15 minutes.

vegan hollandaise sauce

Traditionally asparagus is coated with hollandaise sauce. Try this recipe  for plant-based hollandaise sauce made with oat cream, chickpea flour, broth, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper.

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