To me, there is nothing that says British summer more clearly than Asparagus. I imagine it says it in a rather nice, Joanna Lumley type accent too. It’s hard to describe the flavour; fresh, grassy, a faint hint of lemon, and then something that is uniquely Asparagus. I must confess I am a little in love with this little green spear of goodness.
The asparagus you can experience at the Hundred House has an excellent pedigree, having been grown on Lodge Farm, part of the beautiful Dudmaston Estate, a mere five miles from the Hundred House. Like most of our suppliers, they are a family business, and specialists in what they do. Is it any wonder their produce tastes so wonderful? Add in the bittersweet brevity of the season, and you truly have a dish for a king. And a queen, of course.
Five facts about Asparagus
- It can protect your liver. The minerals and amino acids actually help to breakdown alcohol, giving you liver an easier time. Perfect for the start of a long,lazy lunch.
- It’s packed with antioxidants, so it can help you retain your youthful good looks.
- The official season is from 23rd April to 24th June; it goes past it’s best in heat of summer. Don’t be fooled by unseasonal imitations !
- It can be green, purple or white, all with subtly different flavours
- It is one of the loveliest things you can eat. *
*this may not strictly be a fact. But it is a jolly nice thing.
And finally (although I could write for days about this little green wonder), a stunner of a recipe, from the Hundred House kitchen
Mezze of Lodge Farm Grilled Asparagus, Beetroot Borrani, with Feta, pickled garlic and Olives
We buy our Asparagus from Caroline Lees of Lodge Farm in Quatt .It is normally available Mid-April to mid-June. For this recipe take 8 or so sprigs of Spruce Asparagus, rub with Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper & lemon juice. Drop on to a red hot grill, cook for 2-3 minutes,until lightly charred,then cool quickly to retain the beautiful green colour. Serve with fresh sorrel, land cress, Falafel, Feta, Olives & Beetroot Boriani and grilled Flat breads.
To make Beetroot Borani (serves 4)
4 Medium raw bunched beetroot (about 700g)
1 x small clove garlic, crushed to paste using salt
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp strained Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp Good quality aged red wine vinegar & pinch of sugar
50g Feta, crumbled
Wash beetroot (don’t peel), put in pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender (top up water if required, when ready a knife should go through easily, approx 40 minutes). Drain & cool then blend in food processor (if you prefer texture don’t over blend).
Transfer in to a bowl, add garlic, yogurt, vinegar & pinch salt – mix.
Check seasoning and enjoy!