Tag: asparagus

The green variety of asparagus, which is part of the lily family, is most common in the UK, whereas purple and white varieties are more popular in Italy and central Europe, respectively. As with most fresh produce, it’s best close to picking, with the season usually running from late April to June.

Flavour-wise, asparagus pairs well with hazelnut, cheese, peas, smoked salmon, and lemon. On the other hand, it does not go well with red wine.

Breakfast bread & butter bake

held back on the alliteration in that title – after all, I used brown bread, and British vegetables, and considered some bonus bacon. But I figured just the four Bs would be cheesy enough.

Having the time and space to make a proper breakfast feels like a funny little luxury to me. It’s the pottering around in a quiet kitchen, coffee brewing on the table while I whisk ingredients. It’s the joy of keeping one eye on what’s cooking and your mind on how the day might unfold. Breakfast is the reason I dream of having a big kitchen with lots of natural light – as much as I love the challenge of a layer cake or the satisfaction of making a complicated dinner, it’s those mornings sipping sweet tea and flipping pancakes in pyjamas that I fantasise about.

There’s a possibility it’s the wrong week to suggest making breakfast in your oven, but I’ll say this: at least it isn’t waffles. I spent Monday morning sweating away in the kitchen making waffles for breakfast, stood over the iron and in front of the oven keeping them warm and occasionally putting my head into the fridge. Worth it? Yeah, especially when I realised I had leftover crumble topping to throw on them, but I can’t say I’ll be repeating it while the weather is so warm. This recipe means you can pop it in and leave the room to avoid overheating.

It makes the most of leftovers – the half pack of mushrooms, a handful of spinach, a few slices of bread, however much cheese you’ve got kicking about – and uses the vegetables that are in season right now.

We do it like this.

Serves four, or three quite hungry people.

Breakfast bread & butter bake // The Dinner Bell

Ingredients

100g mushrooms, sliced
12 asparagus spears, woody ends removed and stems cut into thirds
3 large eggs
375ml milk
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
6 slices old bread, halved diagonally
A generous handful of spinach
Chunk of cheese (as much as you like! I did not get these thighs by measuring cheese)
Seasoning
Butter, for greasing

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C, and grease a medium sized baking dish.
  2. Over medium heat in a large pan, cook the asparagus pieces and mushroom slices until just softening. As they cook, whisk together the eggs, milk, and mustard.
  3. Remove the mushrooms and asparagus from the heat. Dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture, transfer to the baking dish, almost-standing, and layer with mushroom, asparagus and spinach, and repeat. When all the bread and vegetables are arranged in the dish, grate as much cheese as you fancy over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

In Season: April

Summer’s here, y’all! I’ve got hastily cobbled together spring wardrobe to prove it. It would seem this is the year my friends and I have aged – when we got together for a picnic in Regent’s Park yesterday we all took suncream (factor 30 to 50), wailed over the lack of need for the word “listicle”, when “list” is perfectly good (okay, that one was just me), and, in the most ridiculous show of no longer being the partiers we once were, discussed our favourite humous varieties (a lot of support for original, and red pepper).

But seriously, invite us to all your wildest raves, we’re a scream. We’ll be the ones with wine and water bottles.

Anyway, now we’ve had our first scorching weekend of the year, we can start to look forward to those glorious months of abundant produce, beginning with a vegetable that has legions of loyal fans: asparagus. Read More

In Season: May & June

F

inally, finally, finally, we’re out of the cold. As I type this, I’m looking out on grey skies (oh, England), but there’s solace in the fact that the streets are increasingly lined with the bright colours of summer fruits with “British” on the sticker.

Related to all this, you can now browse recipes by ingredient (up….^^^ there) on this little ol’ blog. There’s even a dedicated salted caramel section, along with the less indulgent fruit and veg bits.

Read More

In Season: April

Silence seems to be the order of the day here, at the moment. So far, 2014 has been unrelenting in pace, throwing us all forward quicker than we’d perhaps like, hurling challenges to clamber back up from like we’re playing the Takeshi’s Castle of Life. My tiredness levels have reached the point where last night I even dreamed about sleeping, and when asked what my plans for the week are, said, “I’m cooking two of my friends for dinner tomorrow.” Sorry guys, looks like you’ll be on the table, not at the table.

I’ll get back to cooking properly soon, but for now it’s all a little uninspiring. The latest vegetable obsession – I’m a latecomer to this non-beige food party – has seen me wielding a julienne peeler at every courgette I can find. Honestly, courgettes are a revelation, but as much as I’d love to pretend that’s all I’ve been eating to fuel these long days, the chocolate smudges on my jeans tell a different story. A couple of nights ago I definitely gave life to the Frankentoastie, the gooey marriage of brie and Easter egg chocolate – the best kind, and we all know it – between two seeded slices. No regrets. Read More