Asparagus season

The first new crops start to arrive around this time of year. Herbs have been available for a few weeks and salad leaves are now ready. The overwintering brassicas have almost gone although there is still the odd cauliflower around but, most exciting and a real indicator of summer around the corner is the asparagus coming to its peak of production. I took the first few spears at the end of April but am now taking 20 or so a week. I like to cook them in as little water as possible and one of my favourite ways is on a griddle wrapped in good Parma ham. You make picturesque little parcels with the ham around the spears.

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One or two parcels per person. Then simply griddle with your meat. Here is mine with a rump steak.

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Just a couple of minutes cooking, turning to all sides, will soften and warm the asparagus and crisp the ham. Then back to the board to rest the food for a few minutes. I do think resting food improves its eating qualities.

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Here it is served with a chickpea and pumpkin side dish. More about this delicious vegetarian stew in a later post.

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Growing your own vegetables might not be strictly “hunter-gatherer” but it gives me a huge sense of well-being.

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