Local Midhurst Asparagus draws a line under the long winter of discontent. It’s the May bank holiday weekend and after an unseasonably cold April, the first asparagus arrives in the shop on Thursday ready for the weekend sun. Grown in Rogate at Slade Farm by Pete Davey and delivered by his wife Sophie fresh off the farm – there really is nothing finer than freshly picked British Asparagus.
My favourite way to cook this mighty green spear is by grilling it until the tips are slightly brown and crunchy – (it’s incredible cooked on charcoal) topped with a poached duck egg and some grated parmesan, it’s the perfect healthy meal, ushering in British Springtime. Steamed Asparagus is fantastic, and you can also eat it raw, sliced thinly in salads. I would recommend our neighbours, The Sussex Condiment Company’s Hollandaise Sauce as the perfect accompaniement. We will be grilling asparagus on the Big Green Egg this weekend, and Gavin will be making quiche and Chicken and Asparagus Sausage rolls to take full advantage of this seasonal bounty.
For me, asparagus is the harbinger of the British veg season. Finally the root vegetables can take a back seat as salads, Jersey Royal potatoes, then beans, peas, courgettes and all the rest follow up. Asparagus should be eaten as soon as possible after it has been picked as the sugars start turning to starch once it is out of the ground. That’s why eating Peruvian asparagus in October is wrong on every level.
The season is short though, so best to take advantage while you can. We are selling Slade Farm Asparagus for £2 per bunch this weekend.