Monday, 2 May 2016

Something a Bit Special #11 Cooking with Seasonal Veg from Over Farm Market

It’s asparagus season people! The season is fairly short, so now is the time to get your hands on some locally grown asparagus as opposed to the supermarket stuff that’s travelled half way across the world – if not more - before it’s even reached the shop shelves.

Over Farm Market is located just outside of Gloucester city centre and boasts a number of very cute animals, a market to buy lots of fresh produce and a coffee shop; and this week I’ve been lucky enough to try and test some of their own asparagus.

These stalks are picked fresh from the field and put straight onto the shelves in the farm shop within minutes, which is not only kind to our dear planet Earth, but it also means you get a better product as asparagus in particular deteriorates quite quickly after picking.   

Asparagus can be griddled, boiled or roasted, and even eaten raw. You need little more than a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of black pepper to make a really tasty vegetable dish to accompany any meal; but today I want to show you a really simple asparagus recipe where this wonderful vegetable takes centre-stage.

Asparagus and Hollandaise Tart – Serves 4

1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry (why bother making it? Or rolling it?!)
1 large egg
200ml hollandaise sauce
1 bunch asparagus
Black pepper
Zest of ½ lemon
Green leaves to serve

What to do:
Preheat oven to 200oc. Lay out pastry onto baking paper on top of a baking sheet. Score a border around the pastry (without cutting right through). Using a fork, prick inside the border. Beat the egg, add a pinch of salt and brush over the border of the pastry. Chill pastry in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastry until golden and puffed up (approx. 15-20 minutes). Remove from the oven and press down the middle using a spoon. Turn oven up to 220oc.

Mix the remaining egg with the hollandaise sauce. Spread this mixture over the central area of the pastry. Cut dry ends from asparagus and lay the stems in alternate directions across the pastry. Add a twist of black pepper and sprinkle over the lemon zest.

Bake in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until the hollandaise starts to brown. Remove from the oven, cut into pieces and serve with green leaves and some balsamic dressing our favourite is Gilly’s).

I also cooked up a delicious Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with supplies from Over Farm Market which did us very nicely for dessert!

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