Super Spring Green Asparagus Salad





I have been meaning to post this Recipe for a good couple of weeks now. I had so much interest for the recipe it’s unbelievable, I was so pleased.  I suppose like myself others love vibrancy on their plate and know that what tastes fantastic is also great for one’s body too. 

By now, you will know that I love colourful dishes, many different colours on one plate however with this one, sticking to all green really worked. I based it around a salad I used to do years ago, but really raided my fridge and added as much other herbs that I needed to use up. Not only was it a great healthy dish that day but as always I was using things up, so Bonus! 


  If you love really Fresh, seasonal vegetables and want a bit of a boost, this is for you. The taste that the sexy, slinky Asparagus gives along-side the Peas, mint and fennel is just divine.  I don’t like to overpower Asparagus too much, I love to taste them as they are…At their best and they don’t have a very long season, so in that time, appreciate them! 


   What is also great about this dish is that you can have it as it is or as a great accompaniment to chicken or Fish. I can just see myself among Family and friends tucking into a huge bowl of this whilst passing it around, the Sun shining down on us and of course in hand with a lovely crisp White wine… or even a Light Beer.




Super Spring Green Asparagus Salad:




Ingredients:


Salad


( Can’t be too specific, after all it is a Salad so you put in as much as you want)


–  A handful of Asparagus Spears, wood end taken off

–  A handful of Washed baby Leaf Spinach
–  A Large handful of Washed Watercress, take off some of the thicker stalks
–  A good Handful about 50g of Petit Pois, defrosted and drained
–  Fennel Sliced very finely. Remember to peel the outer string like you do with Celery
–  Also Fennel fronds to sprinkle
–  Snipped Salad Cress
–  Fresh Flat leaf Parsley
–  Fresh Mint Leaves
–  Chopped Dill ( not too much as very strong)

I personally feel that this Salad doesn’t need anything to go on it as it shines on its own, however I did try a few dressings to check and one in particular jumped out. 


Dressing:


–  Plain Greek style Yoghurt ( You could use Low fat if you wanted but contains more sugar in some cases)

–  Cucumber peeled and diced finely
–  Finely Chopped Fresh Mint 
–  A spritz from a Fresh Orange and a little Zest




Method:

*  In a pan of boiling water cook the Asparagus Spears for 2 minutes, then plunge into iced water to keep them Vividly Green.


*  Chop into 1-2 inch pieces.


*  Assemble your Salad as you wish.


*  Place your Yoghurt dressing ingredients into a small glass Jar and shake or mix in a bowl.


*  Done! 


  

Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables and Pearl Barley


Last thing you need on a Sunday is to have yourself slaving over a Hot Stove cooking a Large Roast Dinner. Especially now the weather is beginning to become slightly warmer.
    In this recipe, yes it does take some time, however, it is all in one pot as you can leave it to carry on with your Planned activities. Of course, it isn’t just a recipe specifically for Sunday’s but I chose this as an easier option for you.

  This Recipe is Light, Fresh and Easy to do.  You don’t want to overpower this either with bold flavours as you want to capture that Lovely Spring taste of the Lamb, the Sweetness of those Peas popping away in your mouth and a favourite of mine…The Pearl Barley being velvety along the stew’s juices.  

  I have used stewing Lamb in this as the bones will give the extra flavour you need.  I personally like to pick up the Bones with my Hands and get every last Morsel I can Find.
  A dish like this  is always a great winner for me when you can pop it down as a talking point on the dinner table, tuck in and not to forget, there is a MUST for some Crispy Bread to mop up those last bits that have been sitting patiently at the bottom of your bowl. 

  This Recipe capture’s seasonality at its best, It can be done quite inexpensively and will have you craving for more. 




Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables and Pearl Barley:

Ingredients:
(Serves 4-6 people depending on size of Lamb pieces you buy)

–   1 Kg Of British Stewing Lamb (approximately 8 pieces) You could use Neck of Lamb also
–  1 Tbsp of Rapeseed Oil 
–  A Splash of Dry White Wine
–  2 Onions Roughly Chopped
–  2 Large Garlic Cloves finely Diced
–   3 Tbsp’s Tomato Puree
–  Homemade Chicken stock or 1 Stock pot (Knorr) to every 4 pieces of Lamb you have 
–  A good handful of Chantennay Carrots ( 200g roughly) Halved lengthways 
–  100g Pearl Barley cooked before hand in a little Chicken stock
–  4 medium potatoes diced into cubes of 6. I used Shannon but any will do.Could even use new season Baby ones.
–  1 Large Leek sliced a centimetre thick.
–  5-6 Spring onions Sliced into 4  
–  Small Sprig of Rosemary chopped finely 
–  100g of Petit Pois
–  A few sprigs of Fresh Mint chopped finely
–  A couple of Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley chopped finely 
–  Salt and Pepper to season




Method:

*  Take your Lamb Pieces and pat dry with Kitchen Paper. Season Your Lamb with Salt and pepper if required.

*  In a Heavy bottomed Casserole Dish/Large Saucepan heat up the Rapeseed oil and start to sear of the Lamb just till browned on the outside. Placing each pieces of Lamb into a separate dish once browned on the outside.

*  Fry off your Chopped Onions for a minute or two.

*  Add your splash of White wine to de glaze your large saucepan( allow juices to come away)  Add Your Lamb, Chicken Stock and 2 Tbsp’s of Tomato puree. Cover with water covering everything. 

*  Simmer away for 1/1/2 – 2 hrs adding water when needed.

*  Cook your Pearl Barley to packet instructions with a little chicken stock added and leave to one side.

*  After 2 hours or when the Lamb is starting to soften and theres about 30 mins to go. Then add your Carrots, Garlic and Rosemary.

*  Then pop in your potatoes after another 5 minutes.

*  When your carrots are starting to soften, add your Leeks, rest of your tomato puree and the  Cooked Pearl Barley.

* After another 5 minutes add your Spring Onions and Petit Pois. Only cook for a further 2-3 minutes

*  By now the lamb should be falling off the bones and the veg all cooked. Now Finish with your Chopped Fresh Mint and Parsley

*  Finally, Serve into Bowls with Crusty Bread