Love asparagus but not sure where to start? Here’s four recipes using this yummy vegetable for all occasions
If vegetables were a royal family, asparagus would be in line for the throne. Packed with nutrients like fibre, folate and vitamins A, C, E and K, it’s certainly earned its status as a superfood. And spring is their time to take to the spotlight. So, here’s four season-inspired asparagus recipes to enjoy this prestigious vegetable to the fullest.
Roast British asparagus with smoked paprika and thyme butter
Perfect for: A bit on the side
Simply roasted British asparagus spears topped with a butter whipped up in moments. Great for sharing. Serves 4 | Preparation time: 5 minutes |Cooking time: 7-8 minutes.
- 100g butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Ssalt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bunches British asparagus, trimmed
- Add the butter to a bowl and use a fork to mash until smooth. Stir through the thyme leaves and paprika and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Trim the asparagus and spread out in a roasting tin. Drizzle lightly with olive and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven (180°C fan) for about 7-8 minutes until just tender.
- When cooked immediately remove from the oven and place onto a serving dish. Top with the spiced butter which will melt over the cooked asparagus.
Asparagus, tuna and bean salad with shallot and caper vinaigrette
Perfect for: A light bite
This is a perfect summer dish and is similar to the classic ‘nicoise’ salad. It’s easy, nutritious and best served alfresco! Serves 2 | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes.
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1-2 tsp runny honey, to taste
- 2 shallots, very finely chopped
- 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
- A handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to tase
For the salad
- 2 eggs
- 250g bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces
- 400g tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
- 250g pack ready to eat beetroot, drained and diced
- 160g tin of good-quality tuna steak, drained and roughly flaked
- a few olives
- Make the dressing by adding the oil, vinegar, honey, shallots, capers and parsley to a jam jar and shaking well. Season to taste with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
- To cook the eggs, add them to a small pan and cover with cold water. Bring the pan up to a steady simmer and cook for 5 minutes for a set white and almost set yolk. Cook for a minute less for a truly runny yolk, and a minute longer for a harder yolk. Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel and cut in half, then set aside.
- While the eggs are cooking, plunge the asparagus into boiling water and cook for about 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain well and tip into a bowl. Add the butterbeans and pour over half the dressing, tossing together to mix.
- Spoon the dressed beans and asparagus between two plates or bowls. Scatter over the beetroot, tuna flakes and olives, top with the halves of egg, and season with a little extra salt and pepper. Finally spoon over the rest of the dressing.
- Serve whilst still warm. Or pack into lunchboxes and chill until required.
Asparagus, lemon & pecorino pasta
Perfect for: Comfort food
Hearty food can still have plenty of pizazz, cook up this yummy pasta dish at the end of a long week, serve with a chilled glass of dry white and relax. Serves 2 | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes.
- 150g linguine
- 230g pack Waitrose British Asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
- ½ lemon, zest and juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- A garlic clove, peeled and bashed
- 30g finely grated pecorino romano
- Handful chopped flat leaf parsley
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the linguine, cook for 7 minutes, then add the asparagus and simmer for 2 more minutes. Scoop out a large cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and asparagus. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon zest, juice and oil with the bashed garlic clove in a small bowl.
- Tip the drained pasta and asparagus back into the pan with the pecorino, parsley, lemon-oil mixture and a good glug of the cooking water. Toss together, discard the garlic, and season.
- Adding a splash of the warm cooking water helps to emulsify the cheese, lemon and oil, creating a silky sauce for the pasta
Asparagus & Ricotta Pizzas
Perfect for: quick & easy meal
Turn out a simple and delicious dish in no time at all with these yummy cheesy pizza breads. Serves 4 | Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus resting time) | Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 500g Waitrose Sun-Dried Tomato & Chilli Bread Mix
- 250g tub essential Waitrose Italian Ricotta
- 230g bunch Waitrose British Asparagus, halved lengthways
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp fresh Waitrose Green Pesto with Basil
- Place the bread mix in a large bowl, setting aside a handful for dusting the surface. Make a well in the centre, add 250ml lukewarm water then bring together to make a slightly sticky dough.
- Knead the dough vigorously for 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 4 even-sized balls then roll out to make 26 x 12cm ovals. Transfer to 2 large, non-stick baking sheets.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Spoon the ricotta onto the pizza bases then place the asparagus on top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and leave to rise for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the base is cooked through and the asparagus is tender. Dot over the pesto and finish with a good grinding of black pepper. Serve warm.
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