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In season: asparagus

Asparagus evokes strong feelings in people. Those who love it will tell you it’s all about snapping the firm, crunchy stems between their teeth, dipping the spears in olive oil and sesame seeds, or relishing a row of them drizzled with tangy hollandaise sauce.

The spring vegetable is versatile and quick to prepare – Roman emperor Augustus even coined the phrase, ‘faster than cooking asparagus’ – and, best of all, it’s in season right now. High in antioxidants and low in calories, asparagus is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, zinc, dietary fibre, protein, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and vitamins A, C, E and K. So it’s gorgeously guilt-free too.

Pairing especially well with piquant accompaniments like mustard and lemon, asparagus makes the perfect springtime snack.

Quick ideas

  • For an interesting and low-carb brunch or lunch, serve blanched asparagus with halved soft-boiled eggs, crispy pancetta and a mixture of melted butter and lemon juice.
  • Asparagus spears, green beans, rosa tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil and white balsamic, make for a beautiful salad.
  • Give chicken burgers a twist by topping the meat with grilled asparagus and a mustard dressing.
  • For an easy, delicious side dish, toss parboiled asparagus with good quality olive oil, Parmesan and lemon rind, and season to taste.

Recipes

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