Asparagus season is here. I think it officially begins on St George’s Day, 23rd April, dependent of course on the weather. It’s definitely in the shops on time this year and it is delicious.
At home we have managed to keep 2 crowns of asparagus alive, so we are going to eat about 3 spears each tonight. Not quite the feast I had envisaged, but hopefully there will be more, not masses, but definitely more.
For this simple recipe, it is best to use new season asparagus, for its fresh green taste, but later on in the year, imported asparagus is possible. The addition of roasted Jersey Royal potatoes would make it a very home grown affair and give an even more delicious result.
Ingredients - makes 12
1 bunch of asparagus (preferably new season) or asparagus tips
6 small even sized new potatoes (preferably Jersey Royals)
Salt and Pepper
Scrub and halve the potatoes lengthwise. Drizzle a little olive oil over and season well.
Roast them on a baking sheet at 190c for 25 minutes (or until they are cooked and tender).
While the potatoes are roasting, thoroughly wash the asparagus and snap off the woody ends.
Steam them for approximately 2 minutes, until they are just tender. You do not want them to be soft. Then quickly immerse the asparagus spears in iced water to stop them cooking. When they are cold, carefully dry them with kitchen paper.
Remove the potatoes from the over and while they are still warm, take another baking sheet and gently press down on the potatoes to ensure they will sit flat on your serving plate. Allow them to become cold.
When ready to serve (or even several hours ahead), cut the end of each asparagus spear to be just slightly longer than the potato halves, and then cut each spear in half lengthwise (you can also cut sections of stalk in the same manner to make this canapé more economical).
Blob about 1/4 tsp of creme fraiche on each potato half. Criss cross 2 pieces of asparagus on top and drizzle with a few tiny drips of truffle oil (or gooiquality olive oil). Season and serve.
To make ahead, store the potatoes topped with creme fraiche and asparagus, in the fridge. Bring out 30 minutes or so before serving. Drizzle the oil over and season. Serve.
The discarded asparagus stalks are too lovely to be thrown away, so perhaps put them in a salad or even risotto.