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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.364 – Asparagus frittata with soft cheese and chives

    Posted on June 18th, 2017 Janet No comments

    This recipe was featured in The Guardian‘s 10 best asparagus recipes. It made for a very tasty meal on Friday evening accompanied by a green salad.

    Serves 2

    Preparation time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients
    200 g asparagus, trimmed
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt and cayenne pepper
    nutmeg, freshly grated
    3 large eggs, beaten
    125g soft cream cheese
    30g parmesan, finely grated
    2 tsp chives, chopped
    butter, for frying

    Method
    Thinly slice the asparagus spears on the diagonal.  Warm the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the asparagus and season with salt, cayenne pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  Cook gently over a low heat until the asparagus is tender and lightly coloured.  Tip out on to a plate, set aside and wipe out the frying pan.

    In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, cream cheese, parmesan and chives until smooth.  Return the frying pan to a moderate heat, add a little slice of butter and heat until it is just beginning to froth.  Pour in the egg mixture, turn down the heat to low and begin bringing in the frothing edges to the liquid centre of the pan using a spatula.

    Tip the cooked asparagus into the pan and disperse evenly.  Continue to gently lift the more cooked parts of the frittata, allowing the liquid egg to slip underneath them until a happy, soft and curd-like medium has evolved.  This should take around 2 minutes.  Slide the frittata on to a plate and allow to cool a little before serving.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.326 – Hugh’s bruschetta with broad beans and asparagus

    Posted on May 29th, 2016 Janet No comments

    I might have been tempted to make this recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day! for lunch today had we not already eaten the broad beans out of this week’s box!

    Serves 4Cornish-asparagus-camelcsa-140510

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients
    12-15 asparagus spears, trimmed
    200 g baby broad beans (podded weight)
    A bunch spring onions, trimmed
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    4 large slices sourdough bread (or other robust bread)
    1 garlic clove, halved (optional)
    Extra virgin olive oil, to trickle
    50 g mild, crumbly goat’s cheese
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method
    Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the asparagus spears and blanch for two minutes.  Scoop them out and drain.  Let the water come back to the boil.  Now add the baby broad beans and blanch for 30-60 seconds until tender, then drain.

    Slice the spring onions on the diagonal into 1-2 cm pieces.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the spring onions and fry fairly gently for 2-3 minutes, until just beginning to soften.  Cut the asparagus spears into 2-3 cm pieces and add, along with the broad beans, to the spring onions in the pan.  Add salt and pepper and toss the whole lot together over the heat, for just a minute, then take off the heat.

    Meanwhile, toast the bread.  Rub very lightly with the cut garlic clove, if you like.  Trickle the toast with a little olive oil.  Crumble the goat’s cheese over the veg in the pan and stir very lightly again.  Pile this veg mixture on to the toast, trickle with a touch more olive oil and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.280 – Jamie’s Couscous with grilled summer vegetables and loadsa herbs

    Posted on June 12th, 2015 Janet No comments

    This is from Jamie Oliver’s second book, the Return of the Naked Chef.

    Serves 4cornish asparagus portrait

    Preparation and cooking time: 30-40 minutes

    Ingredients
    255 g couscous
    285 ml cold water
    3 red peppers
    1 handful asparagus, trimmed and peeled if need be
    2 or 3 small firm courgettes, sliced
    1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
    2-4 fresh chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
    3 good handfuls mixed fresh herbs (basil, coriander, mint, flat leaf parsley)
    4 Tbs lemon juice
    10 Tbs olive oil
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    red wine vinegar

    Method
    Place the couscous in a bowl with the cold water.  This will start to soften the couscous and you will see the water disappear as it soaks in.  While the couscous is softening, blacken the peppers.  Either place the peppers directly on to the naked flame of a gas hob or blacken under the grill.  Both ways you need to blacken the peppers on all sides, so turn when need be.  When fully blackened cover in a bowl for 5 minutes until cool.  This will steam the skins and make peeling and deseeding easier.  Remove the skins and seeds and roughly chop.  On a very hot ridged grill pan, lightly char the asparagus and courgettes on both sides then toss them into the bowl with the couscous with the peppers, spring onions, chillies and ripped up herbs.  Mix well.  Make a dressing with the olive oil and lemon juice, add and toss well.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a couple of dribbles of red wine vinegar for a slight twang.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.277 – Hugh’s griddled asparagus spears with lemon dressing

    Posted on May 24th, 2015 Janet No comments

    This recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book Veg Every Day.  These can be done on a barbie outdoors, on a ridged cast-iron griddle pan in the kitchen, or even, at a pinch, under a grill.  When barbecuing, threading the asparagus spears onto skewers makes it easier to turn and cook them without losing them through the bars of the grill.
    cornish asparagus portrait
    Serves 4

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 6 minutes

    Ingredients
    20-30 asparagus spears, trimmed
    4 Tbs olive or rapeseed oil
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    6-10 mint leaves, finely shredded
    flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Parmesan, pecorino or hard goat’s cheese, to serve

    Method
    Light the barbecue well in advance if you are cooking outside.
    Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.  If the asparagus spears are pretty thick – more than 5mm across the middle of the stem – or perhaps not so freshly cut, it’s best to blanch them first.  Add to a pan of boiling water, blanch for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water.  Drain well and pat dry.

    Thread the asparagus on to the skewers, about 5-6 per skewer, pushing it through the middle of the spears.  Brush the asparagus with some of the oil and season with salt and pepper.

    If cooking indoors, heat the griddle or grill until hot, then place the asparagus skewers on the griddle or under the grill about 10cm from the heat.  If cooking on a barbecue, you want it medium-hot, rather than super-fierce – you should be able to hold your palm about 15cm above the coals for a few seconds.  Grill the asparagus spears for about 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until tender in the centre and lightly charred on the outside.

    Whisk about 2 tablespoons oil with the lemon juice, some pepper and the mint to make a dressing.  Remove the asparagus from the skewers, arrange on a plate and trickle the dressing over them.  Sprinkle with flaky salt and shave some cheese over the top if you like.

  • Cornish asparagus back in Camel CSA’s veg boxes

    Posted on May 7th, 2015 charlotte No comments

    What a treat! Freshly-picked Cornish asparagus from Roger and Jill Derryman at Lower Croan near Egloshayle is back in season over the next few weeks.

    cornish-asparagus-camelcsa-140613In all the boxes this week:
    Cornish asparagus (Lower Croan, Sladesbridge)
    *mixed salad bag
    *bay leaves
    cauliflower (CSA/Growfair)
    leeks (Growfair)
    spring greens (Growfair)
    potatoes ‘Wilja’ (Burlerrow Farm, St Mabyn)

    Our standard boxes also have:
    extra potatoes
    *Swiss chard/spinach
    red onions (Restharrow Farm, Trebetherick)
    swede (Growfair)

    * = grown to organic principles.  All produce grown by Camel CSA unless otherwise indicated.  Please wash all vegetables carefully.

    This week’s recommended recipes from our website archive:
    Simply delicious Cornish asparagus     Roasted asparagus with balsamic vinegar

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.226 – Nigel’s asparagus and lemon risotto

    Posted on May 11th, 2014 Janet No comments

    The lemon juice gives this risotto a lovely fresh taste.  It’s from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries.  The original recipe uses chicken stock but I am sure vegetable stock will be just as good.

    Serves 2

    cornish-asparagus-camelcsa-240411Preparation time: 10 mins
    Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

    Ingredients
    50 g butter
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    200g arborio rice
    1 glass white wine or Noilly Prat
    400g asparagus chopped into short lengths
    1 litre hot stock
    Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
    salt and pepper
    3 tbs parmesan cheese, grated

    Method
    Melt the butter in a wide, high-sided pan over a low heat.  Add the onion and let it soften in the butter, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent and silky.  Stir in the rice then add the wine and let it bubble down until the liquid has pretty much disappeared.  Add a ladleful of stock, turn the heat up a bit, then let the liquid almost disappear before adding the asparagus and a second ladle of stock.  Continue adding the stock as it boils down to almost nothing, stirring the rice frequently. Season with salt, pepper, the lemon zest and juice to taste and continue cooking until the rice is creamy but has a little bite left in it.  Stir in the cheese and eat immediately.

  • Cornish asparagus in Camel CSA’s weekly veg boxes

    Posted on May 10th, 2014 charlotte No comments

    They’ve still got dew on them! The bundles of freshly-cut Cornish asparagus are from Roger and Gill Derryman at Lower Croan, Sladesbridge. The boxes also have new peas and spring turnips from our polytunnels – with plenty more to come in the next couple of weeks.

    All boxes have: –
    * peas (Camel CSA)
    Cornish asparagus (Lower Croan, Sladesbridge)
    * turnip bunch (Camel CSA)
    * radish bunch (Camel CSA)
    * sprouted mung beans (Camel CSA / Mark Norman)
    potatoes (Burlerrow Farm, St Mabyn)
    onions (Restharrow Farm, Trebetherick)

    Standard boxes also have: –
    extra potatoes
    * mixed lettuce bag (Camel CSA)
    * rocket (Camel CSA)
    leeks (Restharrow)
    * = grown to organic principles
  • A Cornish asparagus treat in this week’s veg boxes

    Posted on May 3rd, 2012 Trish No comments

    First of the season! A special treat for us all from Gill and Roger Derryman’s Cornish asparagus farm at Sladesbridge, near Wadebridge.

    Everyone will have:
    asparagus (Lower Croan, Sladesbridge)
    new potatoes (GrowFair Cornwall)
    * leeks (St Kew Harvest)
    * carrots (Camel CSA)
    * swiss chard (Camel CSA)

    Standard boxes will have extra potatoes plus:
    * salad bag
    cauliflower (GrowFair Cornwall)
    * parsley or parsnips (Camel CSA)

    * = grown to organic principles

  • Simple recipes for fresh, Cornish asparagus

    Posted on April 27th, 2011 charlotte No comments

    The warm spring weather has brought on the asparagus crop in Cornwall.  We’ve been enjoying Cornish asparagus from Lower Croan, Sladesbridge in our veg boxes for the past three weeks.

    There’s a lot to be said for local food that’s come straight from the farm and run up few food miles.

    Camel CSA is incredibly fortunate to be situated just a few fields away from the Derrymans’ asparagus farm. So it’s always tender and freshly picked – nothing like the tough old stalks you get in supermarkets.

    Most of us would agree that asparagus is best eaten either on its own with some butter or hollandaise sauce, or with just a few simple extra ingredients.

    Roger and Gill Derryman never get tired of their own Cornish asparagus with bacon and parmesan.

    I’m a fan of what I call simply delicious Cornish asparagus with dry-cured bacon and a free-range poached egg (from my own hens, naturally).

    Garden biographer Trish Gibson, who posts a recipe every week on this website, likes it even simpler – just Cornish asparagus with egg (from her hens).

    Camel CSA volunteer Henrietta Danvers, who used to run her own restaurant in London, recommends Mark Hix’s more sophisticated shaved asparagus and goat’s cheese salad.

    And if you’re not sure what to do with this lovely vegetable, why not begin with the basics: How to cook British asparagus

  • How we intend to bridge the ‘hungry gap’

    Posted on April 25th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    We’re now entering the traditional “hungry gap”, which means that the normally wide variety of local, home-grown veg is becoming increasingly hard to come by in the UK.

    It’s the time of year when the root crops and brassicas of winter and early spring either run out or start to bolt in the increasingly warm weather. 

    At the same time, we’re waiting for the late spring and summer crops to grow.

    So what can we do to fill the weekly vegetable boxes short-term?

    Rather than go beyond Cornwall or even outside the UK, we’ll probably start to fill the boxes with more “high-value” vegetables such as Cornish mushrooms from Tregonning Farm, Stithians. 

    When the asparagus season begins, you may find that it’s one of only a few vegetables in the boxes.  But well worth it!  And extremely local – from Cornish Asparagus at Lower Croan, Sladesbridge.

    We’ll also have some vegetables cultivated in polytunnels by our own expert growers – salad leaves, radishes, spring onions, spinach and coriander.

    Growing fast

    The growing team have been busy preparing seed beds and sowing all kinds of veg – Swiss chard, rainbow chard, perpetual spinach, beetroot and carrot seeds. 

    They’ve planted out the first of the lettuces brought on in the polytunnel, and pricked out celery and celeriac seedlings.

    Over the last two Sundays our volunteers have also been erecting a much-needed fence to keep out the rabbits, which seem to be multiplying by the minute.

    Thanks to expert growers Jeremy and Mark N and to volunteers Cath, Charlotte, Danny, Fiona, Fred, Jerry, Kitty, Mark M, Mike S and Theresa.  And to our younger helpers Finn and Keira.