It’s coming; the warm weather is on its way! We simply can’t wait but of course it being Britain, we’ll jump from winter coats straight into shorts. Uggs into flip flops. Stews to barbecues. Never mind that, all I’m worried about is asparagus which might be delayed due to the long winter. Yes, the Spanish ones are around but the key to a proper asparagus experience is as local as possible. Maybe don’t make like the gentleman in the urban (allotment, more like) myth who had a little asparagus plot and he’d set up shop at daybreak with a little camp stove and a pan right there on the plot. To cut them just when peeking through and cook them as freshly picked as possible!
The official start to asparagus season in UK is St George’s day (23rd April) but some lucky ones might get an early treat of a simple dish of buttered asparagus. Try also this pasta with asparagus and lemon. And new potatoes are in, Jersey Royals being the best of British: there’s only one way to have them for the first time in a season: boiled and lightly crushed. New potatoes and asparagus, nothing more, that’s my spring feast.
Fancy breakfast for dinner? It’s super easy and quick too and my favourite all-day meal: quesadillas with bacon and mushrooms. And something a bit more special but still easy: five spice shrimp with crispy noodles. I’ve discovered that frozen prawns sold in UK’s oriental supermarkets are good value and really decent quality. I try not to think whether they are MSC approved though we should buy only such seafood.
Still on the subject of shrimp, I can wholly recommend shrimp burgers – perhaps for a weekend project, especially if you want to bake the buns yourself.
For a vegetarian dinner, how about crispy Persian baked rice? I know it’s but a side dish in Iran but I think it can proudly hold its own as a main, with some green salad on the side.
Baking, finally: make some classic shortbread with this interestingly un-classic recipe; no rubbing in butter and the result is like Fortnum’s finest. Or a batch of macarons basques: the taste of Biarritz without the journey. All this while we’re waiting for the strawberries to have those cookies with…