Serves: 4Preparation and Cooking Time: 10 minutes Ingredients
2-3 bunches Australian Asparagus
8 thin slices Parma ham without the fat
1 small bag mixed salad
110g natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
A handful of chopped herbs (parsley, chervil, basil) Method
1. Wash the asparagus and remove woody ends
Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for two minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into cold water for a few minutes until cool.
Divide the asparagus into four bundles and wrap two slices of Parma ham around each bundle.
Divide the salad leaves between four plates and place an asparagus bundle on each.
5. Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice and herbs together to make the dressing. Drizzle over the salad and serve.
Other Asparagus Recipes
Asparagus Pissaladiere - www.girl.com.au/asparagus-pissaladiere.htm
Oven Roast Asparagus with Salmon - www.girl.com.au/oven-roast-asparagus-with-salmon.htm
Asparagus and Ham with Herby Dressing - www.femail.com.au/asparagus-and-ham-with-herby-dressing.htm
Australian Asparagus Varieties Green
Ranging from pencil thin to very thick. Most Australian asparagus is of this variety.White
Preferred in Europe, white asparagus is a little milder in flavour and a lovely tender texture when cooked. White asparagus has been grown away from sunlight, thus preventing the production of chlorophyll, which gives green asparagus its colour. In Australia, black polyhouses are often erected over the crop to prevent its exposure to sunlight.Violet or Purple
This variety is most commonly found in England and Italy and has very thick and substantial stalks. Limited supplies are available in Australia for a short time during the year. CookingBoil or steamPlace Asparagus in a saucepan with two centimetres of boiling water. Cooking time will vary from two to eight minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Serve with butter and pepper or your favourite sauce.
Stir-fryCut spears diagonally in ½ inch pieces, leaving tips whole. Stir-fry pieces at medium - high heat for three to five minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
MicrowavePlace asparagus in a microwavable dish or serving bowl. Add approximately ¼ cup water and cover tightly. Microwave whole spears on high for two minutes (or one minute for pieces), then stand for two minutes before serving.
RawAlthough it is most common to cook asparagus, eating it raw is just as enjoyable. Simply rinse under water, remove the base of the stalk (as above) and serve alongside with other vegetable cruditÃ©s with your favourite dip.
Roasting, BBQ'ing and grillingCook green asparagus spears, drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and salt. Place on BBQ or under a grill and turn occasionally until lightly coloured.
Top Serving Suggestions:
Cook in a light tempura batter and serve with your favourite dipping sauce.
· Combine with a tasty sauce and use as a filling for crepes.
· Fold fluffy omelettes over cooked spears.
· Toss asparagus tips with freshly cooked pasta or rice, fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
· Steam asparagus and serve piping hot with butter, sea salt and cracked pepper.
· Blanch, then team up with freshly cooked prawns, crab or scallops and your favourite dressing.
· Cook al dente and serve in salads, wraps and sandwiches.
· Slice thinly and throw into pasta sauce or soup 5 minutes before serving.
· Dress up steamed asparagus with a touch of walnut oil, salt flakes, freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
SELECTION AND STORAGE HINTS
SelectionLook for firm, crisp, green stalks that are uniform in size and spears with closed, compact tips.
StorageTo keep asparagus fresher for longer, wrap asparagus in a damp tea towel and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge.
FreezingWash thoroughly, trim ends, blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and cool immediately in ice water. Drain well and place in freezer bag; keeps fresh in freezer for up to 8 months.
Asparagus is a good source of natural folate, with a bunch of asparagus providing more than half the recommended dietary intake of folate. It is a good source of Vitamin C and also a source of fibre, Vitamin E and potassium.