British Asparagus heralds the start of Spring with it’s green spears. The season is short so buy it when it is fresh. Asparagus adds a touch of luxury and the exotic to a meal. It is also good for you, containing B vitamins and vitamin K. When I received some British Asparagus in my red tractor hamper I wanted to think of a recipe that would show case its simple deliciousness. In the hamper I also had some beetroot and I thought the earthy taste of the beetroot would complement the asparagus in a simple salad with vinaigrette dressing.
I have never cooked fresh beetroot before, I have only bought it in jars ready pickled. It is simple enough to cook, chop the leaves and root off, leaving about two centimetres of the stalk attached. Wash the beetroot and then simply simmer in a pan of water for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Once cooled it can be peeled and sliced. The taste of fresh beetroot is gorgeous, so much nicer than bottled. The Asparagus should be treated gently and boiled for three to four minutes until it is a lovely green in colour. It can be served with melted butter as a treat.
To make the salad I simply placed some cooked asparagus on a plate, chopped up the cooked beetroot and then garnished with some spring onions, ground black pepper and flaked almonds. The vinagarette dressing is made by mixing 3 tablespoons rape seed oil with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and adding a teaspoon of mustard. This was mixed together and drizzled over the salad. I served the salad cold but I suspect you could also griddle and asparagus and beetroot on a griddle pan and serve it as a warm salad.
The flavours of the beetroot and asparagus worked really well together and this would make a perfect side dish or an impressive starter.
- 250 g Asparagus (about 12 spears)
- 2 fresh beetroots
- 4 spring onions
- 30g flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons rape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- Chop the root and leaves off the beetroot, leaving about 2 cm of the leaf stalks to prevent bleeding.
- Wash and simmer in boiling water for about 20 minutes until soft.
- Drain the beetroot, peel the skin off and and cut into segments.
- Add the asparagus to some boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes until deep green.
- Drain the asparagus and arrange the spears on a plate.
- Add the beetroot segments to the plate.
- Chop the spring onions into small pieces and scatter over the beetroot.
- Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top.
- In a jug mix together the rape seed oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard.
- Pour some of the dressing over the salad.
Disclosure: I was sent a hamper of Red Tractor ingredients in order to create some recipes using Red Tractor products.