Recipe: Green Giants
The wait is over! Hailed by leading chefs as the best in the world, the British Asparagus crop will be available and in abundance from 23rd April (St George’s Day) until the 21st June – giving us a few glorious weeks to max out on the sweet-tasting crop, with its fine, tender texture that’s unlike any other, and its superfood status.
BRITISH ASPARAGUS, SWEET POTATO AND TOMATO SHAKSHOUKA
This wholesome brunch dish is packed with nutrients and energy thanks to the asparagus and sweet potato. An easy one-pot that will keep hungry crowds happy!
• 2 tsp cumin seeds
• 1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes, to taste
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks (about 400g total weight)
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 bunch British asparagus, woody ends trimmed, chopped into bite-size pieces
• 2-4 eggs, depending on hunger
• A small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
• A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
• A dollop of Greek yoghurt
• Plenty of warm crusty bread (optional)
1. Add the cumin and chilli flakes to a dry frying pan set over a medium-high heat and toast for a couple of minutes. Once the spices are fragrant, pour in the oil and add the sweet potato cubes, stirring well to mix. Reduce the heat to a minimum and cover the pan with a piece of foil (or a lid if you have one). Leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the sweet potato is just starting to soften.
2. Remove the foil, add the garlic and stir through then fry for 1 minute. Turn the heat up a little, add the tomatoes and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and fry for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir through the asparagus, recover loosely with the foil (or lid) and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Use a wooden spoon to push the vegetables aside to make 2-4 wells in the asparagus mix, cracking an egg into each. Recover loosely with the foil (or lid) and leave to cook until the eggs are done to your liking, about 5-8 minutes for a set white and a runny yolk.
4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, scatter over the coriander, top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread.
Local food heroes
There isn’t a vegetable around which excites British food-lovers more than asparagus. A true labour of love by British growers, each spear is harvested by hand when it reaches just the right height and you’ll be able to pick up British asparagus in all major supermarkets, green grocers, local markets and farm shops during its short three-month season.
• For more asparagus recipe inspiration, visit www.britishasparagus.com