British asparagus – a light salad for warm weather

It’s almost the end of the British asparagus season, which means it’ll be another ten months until we get to eat those tender green British spears and means butter consumption in my house will drop by at least half.

I love British asparagus and eat it by the plate load during May and June. I know many people asparagus wooden board bowl white wallthink nothing of eating asparagus flown half way round the world outside of the British growing season, but this is one vegetable when minutes really matter. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get my hands on some just picked spears at my old local farm-shop. I took them straight home and ate them immediately, with nothing more than butter and salt, and by gosh the taste. THE TASTE.

The last few weeks have been consistently pretty warm, which has meant I’ve not wanted to cook much. I don’t know about you, but at the end of a hot day, when the air is heavy and hot in my little galley kitchen, then I don’t want to slave over, or eat, an equally hot and heavy meal.

This salad is quick to make, light and pretty healthy. I think it’s perfect on its own as a light bite, but you could add some finely sliced new potatoes to bulk it out a little or serve it on the side of roast lamb or chicken.

 

A light salad of asparagus, courgette and goats cheese

Serves 4 – 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

Two large courgettes, cut into half-moons 0.5cm thick

Light olive oil to fry with

Salt and pepper

Two bundles of British asparagus, trimmed

One bunch of fresh mint

Four spring onions, cut very fine (white and light green parts only)

One log of soft goat’s cheese or a block of feta cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

A lemon

 

Method

  1. Put a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Whilst it comes to heat brush oil on both sides of the courgette half-moons and season with salt and pepper. Add the courgettes to the pan and cook until each side has begun to brown. You will have to do this in two batches (or even three) as the courgette needs to be in a single layer, or it won’t work.

 

  1. Whilst the courgettes are cooking add enough water to a pan to cover the asparagus and add salt. Cook the asparagus for one minute (thin spears or tips) and two minutes for thicker spears. Take them out and drain on kitchen paper whilst waiting for the courgettes.

 

  1. Once the courgettes are done split between the four plates, add the asparagus to the frying pan and put back on a high heat. You want the asparagus to begin to char slight on the outside – move them around so each side gets a bit charred.

 

  1. Split the asparagus between the plates and add the spring onion, mint and cheese. Add more salt and pepper if required. Dress with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and serve with a glass of white wine and the windows open.

 

British asparagus eaten grey plate knife fork