Oh, yeah, at last asparagus is plentiful and we have had several meals of it just steamed, so now it’s time to enjoy it some other ways and here it is as part of a celebration of spring vegetables – new
season’s leeks, potatoes and asparagus.
Hawke’s Bay has long been an asparagus growing area and the first asparagus always signals the end of winter.
I remember years ago when I was flatting with my brother and a girl, Rose, who later became my sister-in-law (and who sadly, a few years ago, was a victim of breast cancer), arriving home with a kilo of asparagus only to find they also each had a kilo. We had all
purchased our asparagus at the same road side stall for 50c per kilo! So what did we do with our three kilos of asparagus – no, we didn’t keep it for the next few nights, we cooked all three kgs and ate it just with butter and freshly ground black pepper – it was one of those memorable meals for its seasonal simplicity and the enjoyment of sharing food you love with people you love – oh happy memories and if only asparagus could still be purchased for 50c a kilo!
New Potato, Leek & Asparagus Braise
4 slim leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
600g new potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 cup vegetable stock
500g asparagus, cut into 2cm pieces – keep stems and tips separate
a good handful of parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Place leeks and a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a
medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until leeks are soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
2 Add potatoes and stock, cover, bring to simmering and
simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3 Add asparagus stems and cook, for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Add asparagus tips and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in most of the parsley, reserving some for scattering. Season to taste with a good grind of salt and black pepper.
So tell me, how do you like to prepare asparagus?
Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Asparagus, potatoes, leeks, parsley; JJ’s Organics; Garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: stock, salt, black pepper.
Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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