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.