Asparagus three ways

Asparagus is in season right now and we’re going to illustrate three ways of preparing it, each with different effects and accompanying flavours; steaming, grilling and pan-frying

You will need
Handful of fresh spinach
Tablespoon of white miso
Tablespoon of maple syrup
Juice of half a lemon
Big pinch of salt.
150 grams of firm silken tofu
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
Dash of water

White sauce:
25g butter
25g flour
Large pinch of salt
25-30g blue cheese
250ml milk
Large handful of walnuts

Crispy egg salad:
Large handful of radishes
Sparkling of sesame seeds
2 duck eggs
50g plain flour
50g cornmeal

Serves 2

Steamed Asparagus with Shira-ae:
Place your prepped asparagus into the steaming basket over a pan of gently boiling water
Steam for 5-7 minutes depending on the size
In the meantime, make the Shira-ae by blending all the ingredients
Arrange the asparagus on a plate, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with the seeds



Grilled Asparagus with a blue cheese (white) sauce:
Heat the butter in the pan with a bit of salt and, once it’s melted, add some plain white flour and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly
Turn the heat off and gradually add the milk, incorporating any lumps as you go
Turn the heat back on and bring to a boil
Gently simmer until thick, creamy and there is no trace of flour in the flavour
Once it’s thickened, add a few chunks of blue cheese
For the grilled asparagus, preheat your grill or the oven to a high temperature
Spread the asparagus in a baking dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on size
While they’re cooking, we’ll toast some walnuts in a hot, dry pan, just for 2-3 minutes
Arrange the asparagus on a plate with a generous amount of white sauce and walnuts


Raw ribbons and pan fried asparagus salad with a crispy egg:

For the ribbons, use a potato peeler to slice them lengthways into strips
Place the ribbons in a bowl of water and add a few ice cubes
Slice the radishes
Separate the eggs and keep the whites for coating
Paneer the egg yolk (in flour, cornmeal, egg white and cornmeal again)
To fry the asparagus, make sure the pan you use is hot, and use enough oil to cover the surface with a thin film
Get the asparagus in with a big pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes
In the meantime, deep fry the egg yolk or 40-40 seconds
Remove with a slotted spoon and leave on a sheet or two of kitchen roll to dry it off before service
Arrange the vegetables on the plate, top with the egg, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and drizzle with oil

We have to repeat our usual warnings for deep frying:
Always have a fitted lid nearby
Always keep checking the temperature and adjusting the setting so it doesn’t get too hot
Never leave the oil unattended
NEVER attempt to extinguish an oil fire with water