Saturday, April 26

Chargrilled Purple Sprouting, Spring Onions, Asparagus & Jersey Royals

Some recipes are so simple that they really don't need writing down - this is one of those. Just use great tasting seasonal ingredients, your tastebuds and instincts. I whipped this up on the BBQ last week - first of the year! Char-grilling purple sprouting may sound strange but I nicked the idea of Josh Eggleton - a Michelin starred chef from Bristol. As long as you avoid blackening the broccoli, the taste is wonderful…….so:

Gently rub/wash the spuds and boil in gently simmering water until soft. Chop any woody ends off the asparagus and broccoli and toss in a little oil and seasoning. Char-grill with the onions until softened but still with some bite. Toss in a bowl with the still warm spuds and dress liberally with very good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season, and throw in a handful of chopped soft herbs. I used tarragon, chervil and chives but basil, parsley or even coriander would work well.

Friday, April 11

Wye Valley Asparagus, Caramelised Onion & Parmesan Tart

Every spring a new asparagus recipe……just can't eat enough!

1 large spanish onion, peeled and sliced very finely
50g butter
50g cream
75g parmesan
1 block of 'all butter' ready made puff pastry
6 thick stalks of asparagus
2 large very fresh free range eggs

Melt the butter in a roomy frying pan.  Over a low heat gently fry the onions stirring occasionally until they are ridiculously soft and dark golden in colour. This  can take up to 40 minutes so take your time. Add the cream and parmesan and allow to bubble away and thicken into a sauce like consistency. Season to taste and allow to cool to room temperature.

Heat your oven to 200c.

Roll out the pastry to the thickness of 2mm and using a large saucer cut two circles of pastry. Place these on an oiled baking sheet and top with the onion mix, half on each disc. Trim the asparagus of any woody fibrous ends and nip off any hard scales low down on the stalk with a small knife. Top each disc with three pieces of asparagus and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is really golden and cooked underneath - flabby puff pastry is a friend to no-one.

Serve with simply boiled and buttered new potatoes, some dressed green salad and for the money shot……a beautiful soft poached egg on top of the tart.