Make the most of the short seasonal window and try cooking your asparagus differently this year...
As the asparagus seasonal window cracks open, foodies peer through searching for a recipe, which doesn't involve wrapping in meat or boiling to death. The British asparagus season lasts for just two months, May and June, and, judging by the popularity of our recipes, it seems being denied this veggie delicacy for most of the year makes us crave it even more.
Packed with vitamin A, folic acid and vitamin C as well as being a great source of dietary fibre, asparagus loves being paired with everything from salmon to sundried tomatoes. Want to try something different with your bundle of spears? Our five alternative ways to cook asparagus may help...
Tenderise your stems by baking rather than boiling and retain more of their goodness. Pop alongside your Sunday roast or try pairing with salmon for a nutritious main. Pop in risotto and bake a delectable dish or add puff pastry and mozzarella for a quick and tasty tart - perfect for when friends come calling.
Want to impress? Whizz cooked asparagus to a purée to make a show-stopping mousse. Pile high in moulds or fill pretty ramekins and serve as a dinner party starter.
Once the forecast realises it's spring, the garden griddle is a great place for asparagus to be. Simply toss in olive oil and pop on the griddle (undercover or outdoors) until tender. Enjoy on the side of meat and fish or add to warm salads.
Food snobs may recoil at the thought of preparing freshly plucked asparagus in the kitchen appliance of convenience - but their scoffing will be quashed with a taste of our speedy risotto. Particularly recommended if you like your stems al dente.
Boil your asparagus briefly until bright green then place in a bowl of ice water to 'shock' and cease the cooking process. As blanching gives you a crisp texture, use this technique when preparing for salads, pasta dishes or before stir-frying.
How do you cook yours? Tell us below.