Inspiration from a French Market…Asparagus
This weekend my husband and I, together with some close friends, went to Carcassonne in France. It’s a beautiful place, a completely walled medieval city on a hill with lots of quaint streets and of course plenty of good places to eat and drink (more of that another day!)
There is an excellent market in the main town and we bought a selection of cheeses, sausages, hams, salad and …for my friends who eat it – bread… plus some good local wine (of course!) and enjoyed a delicious picnic sheltering from the ferocious wind.
Asparagus is in full season there now – earlier than here in the UK – and I couldn’t believe how much was for sale and in all different sizes too from the tiny skinny baby ones to fat spears in both green and white varieties. As an appetizer in the evening we had some lightly grilled asparagus which was sweet and juicy served with a simple salad…perfect. You can easily make it at home and it makes delicous healthy lunch or light dinner:
Quantities are per person:
4 medium sized asparagus spears
2 handfuls of salad leaves
30g/1 oz shaved parmesan
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoons white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Good pinch of good salt
Freshly ground/cracked pepper
Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the asparagus and roll them to coat evenly
Grill/broil the asparagus for a few minutes under medium heat
Meanwhile make the vinaigrette dressing –
Put the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper in a small jar with a lid. Put the lid on and shake vigorously to mix well.
Place the leaves on the plate, lay the asparagus on top, drizzle with dressing and top with Parmesan and a further grind of black pepper.
The little skinny asparagus spears don’t really need any cooking at all but you can blanch them in boiling water for a minute just to soften them – then serve them as a delicious accompaniment to scrambled egg as a rather special breakfast.
Asparagus is delicious served with a good cheese sauce such as my Gluten Free Cheese Sauce, this makes a great lunch maybe with some sliced ham too, but don’t use too much sauce or it will overpower the delicate flavour of the asparagus – or use a milder cheese than normal when you make the sauce.
Well, I hope you can enjoy locally grown asparagus wherever you are…it’s always such a treat while it is in season.
More from Carcassonne soon, including a write up on a wonderful meal at a Michelin 2* restaurant.
PS… are you a bit embarrassed that you can’t cook – or at least you think you can’t? Would you like me to come to your home and show you how you can prepare stunning and delicious meals without spending hours in the kitchen and have your friends, colleagues and family blown away with the standard of your cooking…? Check out my VIP Cooking Days – I’d love to share my passion with you and show how easily you can go from “can’t cook” to “just look what I cooked”!