"Asparagus should be sexy and almost fluid"
Diana Vreeland Editor American Vogue 1963-1971
Ohh my giddy veggie aunt, I never knew there could be so many ways with asparagus,whether wild or farmed. At this time of year, from April to June, these lovely green spears are at their best and most tender.Here in Portugal wild asparagus can be foraged for free under the olive trees after the rains have beenin March.I was lucky enough to be able to find it this year on the banks below the castle here in Castro Marim.It was hard to believe one had a wild kitchen garden just a stones throw from ones home, but you have to be quick on the case - those Portuguese are always fast on the forage. Well, this season has long since passed like the rain and so its off to the market.When I make asparagus, nine times out of ten, I roast it. Steamed asparagus is good and sautéed asparagus is even better, but neither compare to roasted asparagus.Roasting mellows the flavour of asparagus. It gets caramelized and tender and just perfect in every way. As soon as I saw spring asparagus in the market, I knew I had to buy it, but other than roasting it, I wasn’t sure how to be more inventive with it. My fridge is full to bust with pesto every which way so I decided against raw asparagus pesto but I have given you the recipe if you want to make it.It is a great stand by if you need a quick spring sandwich with a difference.This bright-green, fresh-tasting pesto is perfect for spreading on sandwiches, tossing with hot pasta, or slathering on crostini. However I decided to be a little more inventive and found this wonderful recipe from the urban locovore, an Australian blog that combines a Portuguese tradition(migas) with an interesting combination of other Portuguese ingredients.
Roasted Asparagus, migas crumbs,goat curd and a fig infused port and balsamic reduction
Serves 4 as a tapa
Serves 4 as a tapa
8 Asparagus spears
1/2 cup goat curd
2 tbs Fig Infused Port & Balsamic Reduction
200 g stale bread
100 ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup thyme leaves
To make the migas, soak the bread in water for 30 minutes, then squeeze out the excess. Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat and add the garlic and thyme. Add the bread and spread out over the base of the pan. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until it begins to crisp then turn the bread and cook until it is all crispy. Place on a paper towel to drain. When cool break down into crumbs. Season the asparagus and cook on a hot grill pan until soft and coloured. Place on a plate, top with a quenelle of goat curd, sprinkle with migas crumbs and ﬁnish with a drizzle of Fig Infused Port & Balsamic Reduction.