Gordon Ramsay’s 5 ways to cook with asparagus
Looking for new ways to cook with vitamin-rich asparagus? Try these five healthy, mouth-watering recipes from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay
Shaved Asparagus and Fennel Salad
Finely slice 8-10 trimmed asparagus spears on the diagonal using a mandolin. Slice 1 trimmed medium fennel bulb in the same manner. Combine in a large bowl. Mix the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp (2ml) Dijon mustard, 4 tbsp (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp (2ml) superfine sugar, and sea salt and black pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pour over the asparagus and fennel shavings and toss well. Cover and chill for at least 15 to 20 minutes. To serve, add about 31/2oz (100g) tender watercress leaves, a handful of toasted pine nuts, and some Parmesan shavings to the salad and toss lightly.
Asparagus with Lemon and Tarragon Hollandaise
For the hollandaise, cut scant 1/2 cup (100g) chilled unsalted butter into small cubes. Beat 2 large egg yolks with a squeeze of lemon juice, a cube of butter, and some seasoning in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water until very thick and creamy. Beat in the rest of the butter, a cube at a time, then continue to beat until the hollandaise is shiny and thick. Season with sea salt, black pepper, and lemon juice to taste and fold in some freshly chopped tarragon leaves. Blanch 1lb (450g) trimmed asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Drain well and serve with the hollandaise.
Boiled Egg and Asparagus Soldiers
Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut 8 prosciutto slices in half and wrap a half-slice around each of 16 asparagus spears. Lay on a lightly oiled baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and grind over some black pepper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the ham is crisp and the asparagus is tender. Meanwhile, add 4 large eggs to a pan of boiling salted water and boil for 4 minutes. Remove and place each one in an eggcup. Serve the boiled eggs at once, on warm plates with the asparagus soldiers.
Asparagus, Bacon and Goat Cheese Frittata
Heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toss in generous 1/2 cup (100g) diced bacon and cook until lightly golden. Stir in 1 minced garlic clove, 9oz (250g) roughly chopped trimmed asparagus, and some thyme leaves. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the asparagus is just tender. Meanwhile, beat 4 large eggs with 2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) cream, 1/4 cup (20g) grated Parmesan, and plenty of seasoning. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. Scatter over 3 1/2oz (100g) crumbled goat cheese. Cook over low heat, without stirring, until the eggs begin to set at the sides and on the bottom. Place the skillet under a hot broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly set. Let stand for a minute before serving.
Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Tartlets
Roll out 10 oz (300 g) short pie dough on a lightly floured counter to the thickness of 1/8 inch (3 mm) and use to line 6 tartlet pans. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Blanch 7 oz (200 g) trimmed asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 to 4 minutes until just tender. Drain, refresh in ice water, drain again, and cut into 1 1/4-inch (3 cm) lengths. Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the pastry shells with foil and dried beans and bake “blind” for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans; bake for another 5 minutes. Lower the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a bowl, lightly beat 2/3 cup (150 ml) heavy cream and 1 large egg with some sea salt and black pepper. Scatter 3 oz (85 g) flaked hot-smoked salmon in the pastry shells and arrange the asparagus on top. Spoon over the cream mixture, then sprinkle with scant 1/4 cup (20 g) grated cheddar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and set. Let cool slightly.
Cooking notes from Gordon Ramsay
• All spoon measures are level unless otherwise stated
• All herbs are fresh, and all pepper is freshly ground unless otherwise suggested
• Cooking times are provided as guidelines, with a description of color or texture as appropriate. Preheat your oven and use an over thermometer to check its accuracy
From Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen. Published by Key Porter Books Limited. Copyright © 2010 by Gordon Ramsay. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Key Porter Books Limited.