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  • 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

  • Simply delicious Cornish asparagus

    Posted on May 30th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    One of the simplest and most delicious ways of serving Cornish asparagus

    Steamed asparagus, fried or grilled dry-cured bacon, poached free-range egg and a sprinkling of freshly-ground black pepper. 

    Maybe some steamed Cornish new potatoes.

    That’s all.

  • Seasonal recipe No 46: Shaved asparagus and goat’s cheese salad

    Posted on May 29th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    This unusual recipe using raw asparagus is from Mark Hix.  It’s recommended by Camel CSA picking and packing volunteer Henrietta Danvers.  Use freshly-picked Cornish asparagus of course.

    Mark writes a weekly food column in The Independent.  He says: “Raw asparagus might seem a little odd, but it’s actually delicious, and offers a vastly different eating experience to the cooked variety.”

    Serves 4

    Preparation: 10 minutes
    Resting time: 10 minutes
    Cooking: zero

    A couple of handfuls of small salad leaves
    12 or so stems of thick asparagus, woody stalks trimmed
    120-150g soft goat’s cheese
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the dressing:
    juice of 1 lemon
    3-4tbsp extra-virgin rapeseed oil

    With a sharp mandolin or with a very sharp knife, slice the asparagus as thinly as possible on the angle and place in a bowl. Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing, season well and mix with the asparagus and leave for 10 minutes. Toss the asparagus with the leaves and arrange on plates. Crumble the goat’s cheese over the salad and serve immediately.

    Other ways of preparing asparagus

  • More Cornish asparagus in the veg boxes

    Posted on May 29th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Make the most of it! There’s another bunch of Lower Croan’s newly-picked Cornish asparagus in the boxes. 

    Find out more about Cornish asparagus

    All the boxes have: –
    Cornish asparagus (Lower Croan, Sladesbridge)
    Cornish new potatoes (JH Allen & Sons, Marazion)
    spring greens (West Cornwall)
    *salad bag (Jeremy Brown)
    *green garlic (Jeremy)

    The standard boxes also have: –
    *parsley (Camel CSA)
    *baby beetroot (Jeremy)
    as well as extra potatoes and *salad leaves

    Green garlic is also known as “wet” garlic.  Wash and then slice the whole plant like a leek, then use it to flavour as normal. Jeremy warns that this batch is rather strong! 
     * = grown to organic principles

    Next week we can look forward to mixed rocket and maybe the first crop of this season’s basil from Jeremy Brown at St Kew Harvest.

  • Cornish Earlies in the veg boxes

    Posted on May 20th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    We have some more of those small Cornish Early new potatoes to enjoy in our vegetable boxes this week. They come from the milder climes of Penwith in west Cornwall, which is always the first UK region to lift new potatoes in the spring. We’ve also got another bunch of that delicious Cornish asparagus.

    In all the veg boxes we can expect: –
    Cornish Early new potatoes (Penwith)
    Cornish asparagus (Lower Croan, Sladesbridge)
    cauliflower (West Cornwall)
    * spinach (Jeremy Brown)
    * salad bag (Jeremy)

    The standard boxes will also contain: –
    * green garlic (Jeremy)
    as well as extra potatoes and salad leaves
    Green garlic is also known as “wet” garlic.  Wash and then slice the whole plant like a leek, then use it to flavour as normal. Jeremy warns that this batch is rather strong! 

    * = grown to organic principles

  • Seasonal Recipe No 44: Cornish asparagus with bacon and parmesan

    Posted on May 14th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    The Cornish asparagus in our veg boxes comes from Gill and Roger Derryman at Lower Croan, Sladesbridge near Wadebridge.

    It’s a busy life on their mixed farm beef and cereal farm. The Derrymans produce prime organic beef from their suckler cows.  Most of the cereals grown are fed back to the cattle. They have five acres of asparagus they sell at the farm gate and to local retailers over six to eight weeks in May and early June.

    It’s a very time-consuming and labour-intensive crop. At this time of year Roger is out cutting the asparagus spears daily from 7am so Gill (pictured) can start selling them from 10am onwards.

    As everything is so late this year, we can look forward to having this very seasonal vegetable in our boxes until about mid-June.

    Gill has lots of recipe ideas for asparagus, but this is her favourite as it’s so easy. It makes a light lunch dish with new potatoes, or a simple starter.

    Serves 4

    Preparation: 5-10 minutes
    Cooking: 10 minutes

    250g Cornish asparagus (around 8 spears)
    150g dry-cured back bacon
    1 tbsp butter or olive oil
    50g thinly-shaved parmesan cheese
    freshly-ground black pepper

    Gill says:

    Fry the chopped bacon in the butter or oil until crisp.  Meanwhile, snap off the ends of the asparagus stems and steam the spears upright for no longer than five minutes.  Place them on a warmed dish, top with the crispy bacon and sprinkle with parmesan shavings.  Serve with Cornish new potatoes.

    How to cook British asparagus – the basics

    Other asparagus recipe ideas: –

    Sensational recipes for British asparagus
    Blanched asparagus with almonds, shallots and lemon
    Roasted asparagus salad with honey toasted goat’s cheese