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asparagus in butter

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Asparagus

When everything turns green, and proper, bright green instead of the pale early spring hue around the trees and shrubs, when daffodils are gone and tulips almost finished, when peonies open their crimson globes and ducks visit my garden pond in search of a perfect nesting place – that’s my favourite time of year.
And my favourite of all the green things is fresh asparagus.

Do you know that tale about a chap who had a little asparagus plot and every spring, on the day when he knew they would be rising from their soil beds, he’d set up camp at daybreak with a little camping stove and a pan right there on the plot. To cook them as freshly picked as possible!

I’m not that discerning but I do know my local fresh ones from the ones flown over from Peru in the middle of winter. I don’t buy the latter ones – rubbish compared to the former. And it’s so brilliant to have the seasonal food only in its season, stuff myself silly full of green shoots from May till June and then go on asparagus fast until the following spring.

Cook them simply. Don’t overcook; they need to have a bite. They love butter, not too high heat, a squeeze of lemon and some parmesan. And so do I.

asparagus in butter


INGREDIENTS


  • a bunch of green asparagus, as fresh and as locally grown as you can get
    2 tbsp. butter
    salt and pepper
    2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh asparagus


METHOD

Rinse the asparagus in plenty of cold water, break off the hard ends of the stalks.

Asparagus cooked in butter

Heat the butter in a skillet large enough to fit the asparagus lengthwise, add them in when the butter foams, season with salt and pepper and cook gently, tossing them around, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the parmesan over the stalks.

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