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Asparagus
Asparagus

WLR's Laura Meads highlights the health benefits of eating asparagus and gives some asparagus recipes to tempt your appetite.

Food In Season: Asparagus

By WLR Staff, Laura Meads

Asparagus

Asparagus is packed with healthy nutrients. It contains high levels of vitamin A, folic acid and dietary fibre which may help prevent the onset of cancer and heart disease.

Asparagus is a mild diuretic and is believed to help detoxify the body, helping it to get rid of excess water and help combat cystitis.

Asparagus contains prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut, soothing the stomach and aiding digestion.

So an all round great vegetable!

Asparagus Recipes

 

Barbecued Asparagus with Parmesan and a Lemon & Mint butter

  • Serves: 4
  • Calories Per Serving: 192.1cals
  • Fat Per Serving: 17.4g

Ingredients

  • 2 bundles of asparagus
  • 2 tbsp. olive or rapeseed oil
  • Diet/low fat margarine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 50g parmesan shavings

Method

  1. Trim the asparagus as necessary. Place in a bowl and toss with the oil, making sure all the asparagus is fully coated. Season with salt and pepper. Put the asparagus on the grill rack of the barbecue and cook for approximately 2 minutes each side, until it is lightly charred. Remove from the barbecue and divide between 4 serving plates.
  2. Melt the butter on a low heat. Add the lemon juice and chopped mint leaves. Pour over the asparagus, season with salt and pepper again and sprinkle on the Parmesan shavings.

 

Asparagus & Pea Spring Minestrone Soup

  • Serves: 4
  • Calories Per Serving: 199.5cals
  • Fat Per Serving: 8.3g

Ingredients

  • 250g asparagus tips
  • 150g frozen petit pois peas
  • 6 spring onions
  • 3 small carrots
  • 100g fresh or frozen podded broad beans
  • 1 medium-sized fennel bulb trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 5 tbsp. chopped mixed herbs
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 510ml vegetable stock
  • 100ml single cream
  • Freshly grated or shaved Parmesan to serve
  • Squeeze of a lemon Salt & Pepper

Method

  1. Melt the oil and butter in a large pan. Add the fennel and carrots and stir over a gentle heat for about 5-6 minutes being careful not to burn.
  2. Add the spring onion and cook until softened.
  3. Pour in the white wine and reduce by half.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and cook for a further 5 minutes on a low to moderate heat.
  5. Add the asparagus, broad beans and peas and cook for a further 5 minutes until tender.
  6. Stir in the herbs and cream and season well with a squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Serve at once with the Parmesan and warm bread.

Penne with Asparagus & Parma Ham

  • Serves: 3
  • Calories Per Serving: 325.8cals
  • Fat Per Serving: 6.3g

Ingredients

  • 16/240g spears asparagus
  • 300g penne
  • A knob of butter
  • 8 slices/30g Parma ham roughly cut into strips
  • 3 tbs crème fraiche
  • Black Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Cook your penne according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the asparagus, cut each spear into three and toss in a little butter.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the pan.
  4. Add the asparagus, parma ham, crème fraiche and black pepper to the pan and toss well.
  5. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkling of Parmesan on top of each serving.

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More Information

www.british-asparagus.co.uk

Information, recipes and advice on cooking asparagus.

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