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    Asparagus

    ASPARAGUS OFFICINALIS

    Asparagus is the young sprout of the cultivated lily plant and is grown all around the world including Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Germany and Peru. It is available in supermarkets throughout the year, but is best between mid-April and mid-June. There are 4 main varieties of asparagus; Pacific Purple, Stewart's Purple, Mondeo, and Guelph Millennium.

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    Cooking Methods

    Boil

    Wash the asparagus thoroughly and snap the bottom inch or so with your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody bit ends and the tender stem begins. Bring 1 inch of salted water to the boil in a large pan, add the asparagus, boil for 5 minutes or until tender. Be aware that thicker spears may take longer to boil, perhaps 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.

    Roast

    Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/gas mark 7. Wash the asparagus thoroughly and snap the bottom inch or so with your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody bit ends and the tender stem begins. Drizzle with olive oil and spread the asparagus into a single layer on to a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Place in the preheated oven and leave to roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender, turning occasionally to ensure an even roast. Remove from the heat and serve.

    Grill

    Preheat the grill to a medium high heat. Wash the asparagus thoroughly and snap the bottom inch or so with your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody bit ends and the tender stem begins. Coat asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Place under the grill in a single layer for 5-10 minutes, until nicely charred and tender. Turn every couple of minutes to ensure an even browning. Remove from the grill and serve.

    Steam

    Wash the asparagus thoroughly and snap the bottom inch or so with your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody bit ends and the tender stem begins. Bring an inch of water to the boil in a large pan under a steaming basket. Place the asparagus in the basket and allow to steam for 5-10 minutes, until tender. The time in which this takes will vary on thickness of the spears. Remove from the heat and serve.

    Fry

    Wash the asparagus thoroughly and snap the bottom inch or so with your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody bit ends and the tender stem begins. Melt a knob of butter in a skillet over a medium high heat. Coat the asparagus in olive oil and add salt and pepper, if desired. Place asparagus in the skillet and cook for 10 minutes, until tender. Turn frequently to ensure even cooking. Remove from the heat, pat with a kitchen towel to remove excess oil and serve.

    Asparagus Recipes