Hello and welcome back to the Old Course Hotel Food & Wine blog.
We’re now into the second week of the British asparagus season which in fact is a very short season lasting only six weeks. Traditionally the season starts on the 1st of May however this year it started a little early as the fantastic weather we have had throughout April has meant that the season started in the middle of April – so right now really is the very best time for some delicious asparagus recipes
In the UK we grow asparagus a little slower so that the spears have more time to develop a stronger flavour and texture. The famous Scottish weather means that we tend to wait a little longer than the rest of the country for the asparagus to develop; we expect the deliveries to arrive this week. As you know, I am very keen to work with local producers and suppliers and asparagus is the perfect example of why it is always best to buy vegetables from a local farmer.
When an asparagus spear is cut the natural sugars start to convert into starch so the longer the asparagus takes to reach your plate the more time the starch has to build up diminishing the quality of the produce. You can spot a Scottish asparagus spear by the lighter colour and fuller flavour, this is simply down to the distance it travels. I would really recommend that you pick up your asparagus from your local Farmers’ Market. There are fantastic markets in Edinburgh, Fife and across the country – try Fife Farmers Market this Saturday in Cupar (www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk) or Edinburgh Farmers Market every Saturday at Castle Terrace (www.edinburghfarmersmarket.co.uk) – or better still why not try growing your own! (http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growingasparagus1.shtml)
Asparagus works really well with lemon or garlic, and is perfect for salads or seafood dishes. Why not try a green salad with fresh herbs and wild garlic, or even a stir fry with soy sauce! If you have any tips or recipe suggestions for asparagus then please do share them with me and your fellow blog readers.