I look forward to Spring and the beginning of our Australian asparagus season.
These beautiful, bright-green spears are now in the markets, and hopefully will stay some weeks. About 95 per cent of our national crop is produced here in Victoria, with the vast majority coming from the area around Koo Wee Rup and Dalmore; the north-east and north-west regions of Victoria also boast growers!
You can easily assess the freshness of asparagus by the appearance of spears and their ability to snap crisply.
It is a common misconception about asparagus that those skinny spears are younger. That is not the case. A single asparagus crown can produce skinny, medium and thick spears, all at once. The bundles are graded and sorted so the bunch you receive has spears that are similar in size and cook evenly.
There are countless ways to serve and enjoy asparagus. You may serve them as an hors d’oeuvre, simply blanched with some hollandaise drizzled over the top, as a side dish, steamed, grilled or roasted, incorporated into a frittata, risotto, pasta, tarts, soups, sandwiches, stir-fries, salads. One of my favourites in our Modern Australian Cuisine classes is the delicious petit pots of asparagus crème brûlée, served either as an entrée or as a vegetable side. For the recipe>>>