Let’s hear it for green asparagus! With Chef Matthew Brownie.
ONE of my favourite summer vegetables is Green Asparagus, as it has many health benefits and is so fresh and tasty that it’s worth eating it all on its own, although it’s a great addition to a lot of home cooked dishes. Asparagus has been associated as a medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and properties. It is pictured on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC and it was also known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use during the winter and Romans even froze it high in the Alps,
The tastiest piece of the asparagus and most delicate are the tips and the asparagus has many wonderful uses.
Quick and easy uses for Asparagus
- Penne Pasta with chicken and asparagus with a Basil Pesto cream sauce.
- Grilled asparagus with Fillet Steak, flat cap mushrooms and garlic butter
- Steamed Asparagus with mornay Sauce (cheese sauce)
- Baked Asparagus wrapped in streaky bacon
These are but a few ideas of very tasty dishes that can be made up over the coming summer months. Asparagus is loaded with nutrients and is a very good source of fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. Is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds? This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.
Rosemary roast chicken thighs, new potatoes, asparagus and garlic
750g new potatoes halved
2 large bunches asparagus, woody ends discarded
1 whole garlic bulb, cloves separated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, halved
Small handful rosemary sprigs
8 chicken thighs
Heat oven to 180 degrees
Put the potatoes, asparagus, garlic cloves, oil and lots of seasoning in a large roasting dish (about 30 x 20cm).
Squeeze over all the juice from the lemon halves, then cut them into chunks and add them to the dish. Toss everything together, cover the dish with foil, and roast for about 15 mins.
Remove the foil and mix through the rosemary. Season the chicken thighs and arrange evenly in the dish.
Roast for another 25-30 mins until the potatoes are tender, and the chicken is crisp and cooked through. Serve the dish in the middle of the table for everyone to share.
When serving place a drizzle of olive oil over the dish, to add flavour
A Brownie point…..
Asparagus contains no fat or cholesterol.