We teamed up with KitchenJoy, a lovely cookery school in the heart of Chiswick and this month Joy tells us all about her favourite vegetable of the month: asparagus!
By Joy, KitchenJoy
The Asparagus season is here! Although a short period, from about St Georges Day and lasts approximately 8 weeks, take advantage of this nutritious versatile vegetable which can be eaten raw in salads, steamed or sautéed with butter.
Asparagus, officially known as Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the lily family and been used since the time of ancient Greece to heal and medically cleanse the body of toxins and diseases.
It comes in a variety of colours, green, purple & white. Asparagus is low in calories with six spears being only 20 calories!
This vegetable is full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, containing Vitamin C, A, E & K, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, riboflavin, fibre, protein and very high in folate which plays an essential role in the development of the foetus for pregnancy.
Purple asparagus is especially high in antioxidants due to the purple pigment anthocyanin which is believed to help in the fight against cancer, heart disease and brain health.
White asparagus is mainly grown in Germany, and unlike green asparagus which is grown above ground, this is grown under mounds of earth therefore protecting the slender stalks from sunlight exposure and keeps them from turning green.
The taste and nutritional value of green vs white asparagus are different. The green variety tastes more “grassy”, yet the white asparagus still has a distinct aroma. Nutritionally the green spears have more antioxidants than their white cousins, however this white veggie can be just as nutritious, although the health properties do vary slightly.
My favourite recipe for using fresh asparagus at KitchenJoy Cookery Classes is a Trout and asparagus crust-less quiche by Dale Pinnock, recipe below!
Olive oil, for greasing
55g cooked asparagus spears (steamed for 5-10 mins until tender)
2 cooked trout fillets, flaked
3 large eggs plus 3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
small sprinkle of grated cheese
sea salt & black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180-C.
Lightly oil a 23cm diameter baking or tart dish. Scatter the asparagus & flaked trout evenly across the base
Whisk the whole eggs, egg whites, milk, parmesan and some salt and pepper together in bowl or jug.
Pour the egg mixture over the trout and asparagus, sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the centre no longer wobbles.
Leave to cool completely before serving.
Recipe from Dale Pinnock – The Power of Three