The asparagus might be a little high maintenance (the growing process is labour-intensive) but its adaptability, flavour and nutritional value far outweigh its notoriety as a prima donna. We’re particularly into the British variety at the moment, which comes into season once a year – and while it might make us work for it, we all know the best things in life take a little commitment. Here’s why we think asparagus should be at the top of your shopping list:
1. It holds its own when lightly sautéed with butter, garlic and sea salt – one of Paul Morgan’s favourites.
2. Asparagus knew how to bend and snap before Elle Woods made it cool: gently bend the stalk until it snaps naturally, leaving the tough bit behind – you can then line up the rest of the bunch and chop them in the same place.
3. It makes for a good lookin’ tart.
4. It welcomes crumbs with open arms (let’s face it, crumbs get a bad rap).
5. It goes pretty well with cheese… and who doesn’t like cheese?
6. You can even have it in a loaf. Yup, you heard us.
7. It looks elegant as ever atop of a bowl of creamy risotto.
8. It makes the doughy deliciousness of pizza feel that little bit more healthy.
9. It cooks like a charm when placed in a parcel – who doesn’t want to feel like they’re opening a present at dinnertime?
10. And even when you want to spend a bit more time cooking, it partners beautifully with rich, flavourful meats like lamb.
11. If you let it grow, the spear will flower... and flowers are always nice to look at.
12. It’s a great source of vitamin A (your immune system, vision and skin will be thanking you).
13. Add vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre into its list of credentials and you’ve got yourself a health kick.
14. Blended and chilled, it makes for a cracking soup.
15. And just when you thought we were done singing the spear's praises, it makes for a delicious addition to your next breakfast.
Inspired to cook with asparagus? We’ve got loads of tasty recipes right this way.