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Let’s spear it for asparagus

Eurest | Great food |  07 May 2015

lets-spear-it-for-asparagus

Our season special this month is the aromatic asparagus — definitely a delicacy amongst vegetables. British asparagus (which many think is the best) is only available for a few months each year, beginning with May, so you’ll want to make the most of this delicious treat while you can.

Asparagus is actually a collection of young shoots from a lily plant and has been a food enjoyed by people throughout the ages. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians were in on the act and the earliest depiction of the vegetable is in a painting from around 3000 BC.

It can be a bit tricky to grow, taking more work to prepare the ground than for other vegetables, but asparagus more than makes up for your efforts by being incredibly easy to cook. It’s also worth the time you put into cultivating it because it adds such a distinctive flavour to any dish you use it with.

Asparagus is also a very versatile vegetable, working well as your main course or served on the side. One of our favourite ways to cook it is to griddle some fresh shoots — making the spears tender — then sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. This gives you a tasty side dish that can sit with any meal.

If you’re thinking about promoting it to the main event, it’s the ideal ingredient in soups, tarts or salads. Asparagus goes especially well with pasta in a pesto sauce — add a little lemon juice to give the whole dish a citrus kick.

We love asparagus because it’s not only tasty, but it’s also incredibly nutritious and a solid, healthy choice. Packed with vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium, asparagus is good for digestion, will boost your immune system and can even make you feel more energetic. Not bad for a few shoots…

It’s just a shame that asparagus isn’t in season all year round — it’s important to enjoy it while you can. You want to make sure the best ingredients go into your cooking, whether at home or work. That’s why we’re committed to using fresh, seasonal produce, like asparagus, to bring your people great meals every day — making sure they have choices that are not only delicious, but also healthy too.

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