Easy Way with Asparagus

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They’ve been on the shop shelves for some weeks now, but I for one am still on an asparagus and strawberry binge, given it’s been so long without those two debutantes of the season. When using asparagus, I really like to keep the dishes super simple, allowing its flavour, and its delicate crunch, to shine. Thanks Julie Biuso for some excellent asparagus recipes in the October issue of Taste magazine. The other night I came across her Pasta & Asparagus with Browned Butter & Pine Nuts (page 80), and it was just what I felt like eating. I didn’t have lasagne sheets in the pantry so used pappardelle instead. As with asparagus, simple dishes are where you get the most bang for your buck with pine nuts, so that their delightful (and rather expensive) flavour can be fully appreciated. Recipes from Taste are uploaded onto recipefinder.msn.co.nz a few months after publication, so you should be able to find that recipe of Julie’s up there shortly, if you don’t have a copy of that issue.

A few other things I like to do with asparagus at the moment:

Blanch the spears and roll them up in parmesan crepes (just add parmesan to a regular crepe mix) with a slice of prosciutto (or smoked salmon), homemade ranch dressing, a squeeze of lemon juice and some extra parmesan.

Brush them with olive oil, season and grill them hot and fast on the barbecue.

Make an asparagus and haloumi tart topped with rocket.

Instead of serving a roast chook with the usual root vegetables, tear it up and serve it on a bed of rice that has been cooked in fresh chicken stock and a bit of olive oil, and top with blanched, seasoned asparagus and microgreens.

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