eating asparagus

The weather swings between bright sunshine and gusting winds and downpours. One day we’re out in shirt sleeves, wondering if it’s time to pack away our winter clothes and the next day we’re wearing coats and lighting the fire in the evenings.

Luckily the asparagus is in full production and as it tastes just as good hot as it does cold, it’s the perfect thing to eat.  I love it when we have an abundance of fruit or vegetables, mainly because I don’t have to think about what to cook for supper. For the first week or so of the season we eat asparagus hot, with no more than a smear of butter. Just before the meal, one of us rushes to the garden to cut the asparagus and bring it back into the kitchen to cook and serve straightaway. From garden to plate in under five minutes. Heaven.

But after a couple of weeks, everyone’s ready for a change, so we dip spears into a soft boiled egg or roast them with a little bacon. This week, my favourite way to eat asparagus is with a spoonful of whipped feta so that the cheese slowly melts and oozes over the hot spears. Whipped Feta is my current craze; a pack of feta (ordinary not barrel aged or anything fancy) beaten in the mixer with a pack of cream cheese with a spoonful of vermouth and a sprinkling of thyme or snipped chives (or any other herb) to add a little interest. It makes a good dip with raw vegetables, is rather too moreish with crackers and makes an acceptable sandwich filling when the fridge is otherwise empty.

spring salad

My other current craze is for salads like this. Each year I end up serving the same salad over and over again through spring and summer; one year it was layered salads, another year it was Greek salad. The ingredients vary as the season progresses but the basic construction stays the same. I love baking (because it’s a choice not a necessity) but getting meals on the table day in, day out becomes something of a chore and sometimes I just want to make something quickly and throw it on the table. Cooking without thinking.

This year, it may be the year of the chopped salad.  At the moment we’re eating salads of cucumber and radishes with anything I can find in the garden, which means asparagus (obviously) with leaves and flowers of Jack-by-the-hedge, chopped mint, chive, parsley, cutting celery and chard with a scattering of borage flowers and shredded rose petals. This day’s salad was topped with a handful of croutons and a guinea fowl egg that made it perfect for a sunny spring day.  A shame then that it kept raining!

15 thoughts on “eating asparagus

  1. sophiezest says:

    Ooh yum yum! Your salad looks glorious! I can’t help sharing another feta favourite of mine: mash some feta with cottage cheese, add a crushed clove of garlic and some shredded basil and season with black pepper. Stuff a beef tomato with it: it makes a nice starter.
    Here in Belgium, white asparagus is more popular than green, but I think green is far superior.

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  2. andreamynard says:

    So many lovely things in here – the fact that you’re having an asparagus glut (a few years off for me, still cycling to the local farmshop while ours gets going) that gorgeous soft-boiled guinea fowl egg & how beautiful that salad looks with the pretty borage flowers & sliced radish! And your feta idea sounds fab.

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      Most of the year I wonder if it’s worth devoting so much space to the asparagus bed, just to produce a crop for 6 weeks but then we hit the asparagus season and I realise it is worth it. The inspiration for the salad came from a photo on your blog – I’m a terrible pilferer of other people’s ideas.

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  3. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    Asparagus is one of my favourites too Anne and I love your serving suggestions, especially the whipped feta. I am going to try that. Our weather is swinging at the moment also, one day jackets and beanies, the next day back to shirts.

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      Last time I made the whipped feta, I left out the vermouth and it tasted just as good. The only problem is that the recipe makes quite a large amount but using just half a packet of each would mean finding two more recipes to use up the half packs.

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  4. Gather and Graze says:

    The whipped feta idea sounds fantastic Anne – can’t wait to give it a try! I won’t be waiting the 6 months for the asparagus to reappear 😦 but will dip with raw vegetables and crackers instead.

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  5. Glenda says:

    Anne, your salad looks very summery – if you keep eating salads like that summer is sure to show up. Another idea for feta is equal quantities of Danish feta (the creamy variety) with natural yoghurt. It is a very simple dip that we have all the time. As with your idea, you can have it will all sorts of things.

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  6. e / dig in hobart says:

    oh, asparagus season is a long way off here on this side of the world! it is such a special treat.
    i am like you – baking is fun, but working out what to eat daily – i also tend to revert to a ‘type’! i like your salad and could happily eat that on a regualr basis.

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