Asparagus at Groombridge Farm Shop
Asparagus is in season for just 7 to 8 weeks a year and the time is now upon us. It has been a slow start to the season due to the wet and cold conditions. As a consequence there is less asparagus to cut than we would like. Despite this, we are pleased to share. There is fresh asparagus from our farm available, all day, every day at Groombridge Farm Shop. The spears are cut early every morning by hand, they are cooled and then bundled for sale in the shop in the afternoon. Spears can grow 10cm on a hot day. The asparagus “crowns” (or plants) produce asparagus for 7 to 8 years after spring planting and we wait for two years before taking a crop.
As the spring sunshine starts to make more of an appearance this ‘green gold’ will continue to grow and you can enjoy its delicate flavour and soft texture.
Try your fresh asparagus in one of these delicious recipes:
Asparagus, Tomato & Feta Salad
Servings: Approximately 7
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
- 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lbs fresh choice asparagus, tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 (10.5 oz)pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare vinaigrette - add vinegar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Pour into a jar or bowl, add olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, garlic and whisk to blend while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Add asparagus to boiling water and allow to boil until tender crisp, about 4 - 5 minutes.
- Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Drain and immediately transfer asparagus to ice water, let rest about 10 seconds then drain asparagus well.
- Transfer to a bowl with tomatoes and walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and toss lightly.
- Sprinkle over half of the feta then plate and top with remaining feta (just so the feta doesn't brown from tossing with all the dressing).
Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan
- 2 lbs asparagus, bottom ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
- ½ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
- In the meantime, cut the tips off of one bunch of the asparagus and set aside (you'll use those for a garnish). Cut the remaining spears and the other bunch of asparagus into ½-inch pieces.
- Add the chopped asparagus to the pot (minus the reserved tips), along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain the tips and then place them in a bowl of ice water. Once the tips are cool, drain them and set aside.
- Purée the soup with a blender until completely smooth. Bring the soup back to a simmer and stir in the lemon juice and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. To thicken the soup, allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the desired consistency is reached.
- Serve into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmigiano-Reggiano, herbs (if using), and freshly ground black pepper.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: You can freeze the soup for up to 3 months.