It's asparagus season over here! Finally, after a winter so terrible it looks like it was half-inched out of Game of Thrones, the asparagus has made it through and is now cheap as chips. Well, it's cheap as asparagus gets, which is more like cheap as gold plated chips.
First in my asparagus binge was another tweaked Yotam Ottolenghi recipe. Yeah, I know, my blog's covered in his stuff, like some weird vegan measles. The guy's starting to grow on me despite ditching his veggie column in the Guardian a while back. Still, he's punting out the veggie recipes on the Guardian, so who am I to not put them to work in the service of sending asparagus to a better place.
Alas, the subtitle on his column earlier this month on asparagus is, 'There's no law that says you have to serve asparagus with butter, eggs or cheese". Good call, Yotam. Alas, both the recipes he offers have all of those in! Gah!
Still, if you can look past that, then there's a nice recipe for asparagus with avocado and horseradish (I subbed the double cream for vegan mayo and ditched the eggs. Sunday brunch was too lazy an affair to get stuck into finding an egg replacement.)
Given that asparagus and avocado were meant to be together, it only seemed right to unite them again - this time in a salad inspired by a Cadry's Kitchen recipe.
Cadry's recipe had all the same ingredients, but she's weaved them into a nice smoky mix. I just mixed them all up and hoped for the best. (Hey, it was just one of those days that even lifting a knife up and down a centimetre to chop some veggies seems like three hours at the gym. I say that, but I've never spent three hours at the gym. It's just what I've heard it's like.)
It was a nice salad: along with the avocado and asparagus, there was hearts of palm, lamb's lettuce, pine nuts, tomatoes and a bit of dressing. But you know what made all the difference? Pink peppercorns (not pictured, model's own.) Zing!
My third and final nod to the genius that is avocado and asparagus is another recipe inspired by another excellent blog: this time, it's Ingrid Improves. Ingrid keeps on posting amazingly appealing pics of avocado pasta, and every time she does, I really want some!
I tried to do something similar by cooking up some soba noodles and making a sauce out of squished-up avocado and wasabi, with a bit of mirin, soy sauce, roast pumpkin seeds and that sort of Japanese-inspired jazz. Did I mention there was avocado in there? Of course there was.
Alas, I'd overcooked the noodles and the avocado sauce enhanced the slime factor. It was sort of like sucking on clammy hairbands. Couldn't fault the flavour though, so I'd give this one another go over, maybe with a more hawk-like eye on the kitchen timer.
With pairings like this, it's a shame the English asparagus season is so short. At least, I guess, it's short but sweet!