I came up with this recipe about 4 weeks ago for BBC Leicester on my regular slot with Ben Jackson but it had completely slipped my mind to post it, it sometimes happens with myself as I do so many recipes in a week. So I must post this now as sadly, our lovely British asparagus are now coming to an end for their season this year, but if you did want to recreate this as it is, you should just manage to find some still around this week and maybe next. As for the peas though, they are now coming into season so you could even use fresh British ones. They would be brilliant for this recipe.
This was done literally how it says in the title. I let Ben look into my fridge, we picked out a few ingredients ( Seasonal too) and then I came up with a dish on the spot. It was to show people really how easy and quick it is to come up with a dish as great tasting and looking as this, just by using up things that are in your fridge! I suppose one would call this a “Ready steady cook” thing maybe? I love doing that and I love to show people what they can acheive just from a few ingredients or leftovers they have. Say no to waste!
I cook meals like this quite regularly in the week, maybe not with the exact ingredients but I always ensure I have a bag of pasta in so I can create something like this. It’s also great having a jar of homemade Pesto in your fridge as that alone with pasta and a sprinkling of parmesan is a dish in itself. It doesn’t have to be a wild garlic one, you could use a basil or another green vegetable/herb pesto. Creating dishes like this in under 15-20 minutes, you’ll never turn back.
*One thing I must add for this recipe is that I can’t mark it as Vegetarian as it has Parmesan in my pesto recipe*
– Approximately 200g Fusilli Pasta or any pasta of your Choice
– 1/4 Leek sliced
– 2 Spring Onions chopped finely
– 2 cloves of Garlic
– 8 British Asparagus Spears, wood end cut off
– 5-6 British Purple Sprouting Broccoli Stems
– A handful of Petit Pois defrosted and drained or British Fresh podding Peas
– 1 Tbsp Of Wild Garlic Pesto or can use Basil Pesto
– Small Handful of Pea Shoots
– Cracked black Pepper
– Sea salt to season
* Take of wood ends off the Asparagus and peel the outer layer at the bottom couple of inches and pop into Ice cold Water to keep them vivid green.
* Chop Purple Sprouting broccoli into 3 and pop into the Ice cold water too.
* In boiling water Cook the Asparagus and the Purple sprouting Broccoli for 2 minutes then plunge into Ice cold Water
* Cook Pasta to packet instructions in the same Pan with boiling water used for the Veg.
* Fry off your Onion, Leek and Garlic for a couple of Minutes adding a little Cracked Black pepper.
* Chop your Asparagus into 3 and add them and the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, stir for a minute or two.
* Drain your Pasta and keep a little water to pop into the frying pan to add a little moisture. Add your Pasta to the Vegetable mix now.
* Stir in your Pesto and cook for a minute making sure whilst stirring your pasta it is all coated with it.
* Pop in your Peas, stir for 30 seconds and then add your pea shoots. Add a little Salt to season and you are ready to serve!
One thing you will know about myself already is how passionate I am about Seasonal Food and I don’t care how many times I will repeat myself in saying this. I feel very lucky to live in Britain and what amazing seasonal produce is all around us. Of course I also try my best with this subject in my own Kitchen Garden.
One seasonal Vegetable that I yearn for at this time of year and I am totally honest when I say I will NOT touch it grown from any other country but Britain, and that My readers is the Sexy, Slinky Asparagus. I know I am quite a frugal Queen, but I don’t mind a little splurge with this!
There is just something about the taste of our British Asparagus that is NOTHING compared to other countries who grow it. Ours has a lovely Sweet, yet Earthy and Nutty taste, not to mention the Lovely Vivid Green colour that it gives off.
This year, the British Asparagus season starts today, Thursday 23rd of April but prior to this, and this is just how passionate I am about seasonality. I decided that Myself and my fiancé would travel all the way over to the Wye Valley, Ross on Wye to be precise to get my hands on the very first few bunches that were starting to be sold. My friend Ben Jackson called this “Mental Asparagus searching” which I like that!
So to kick start off my Asparagus recipes, I wanted to do something very Easy, Fresh and clean cut, not to overpower the taste. This recipe just hit the nail on the head. You may remember about 3-4 weeks ago I made my own “Sun-blushed” tomatoes, well I decided to use those in this recipe but of course made a fresh batch last week. It worked a treat!
Bruschetta with Asparagus, Soft Cheese & Homemade “Sun-blushed” Tomatoes:
– Good Quality bread. I used Multigrain Rye bread. Sourdough would be great too.
– Good Quality British Asparagus, Mine was from the Wye Valley
– Homemade “Sun-blushed” Tomatoes or bought
– Soft Cheese or a mild Goats Cheese
– The oil that the “Sun-blushed” tomatoes sits in
– 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
– Ice and cold water in a bowl
* Take a Large Bowl and place in some Ice cubes and cold water
* Boil a small amount of water in a large saucepan
* Take your Asparagus and take off the bottom, the woody stalk end with a knife. About an inch.
* With a Veg/potato peeler, peel ever so slightly down about an inch 1/2 of the top layer of asparagus skin at the bottom. You will see this reveals a lovely bright vivid green.
* As soon as you have done this, plunge the Asparagus into the Iced water, this will keep it that vivid green colour.
* Slice your bread and drizzle some rapeseed oil onto the bread. place in a Frying pan to colour each side
* Once your Water is Boiling, plunge your asparagus and cook for roughly 2-3 minutes depending on size.
* When Bread and Asparagus is cooked, Start to assemble your dish and voila! A lovely starter, breakfast, Lunch…the List goes on!