October 08, 2014
Though only eaten in the New World since the mid 19th century, asparagus tips have been considered a delicacy and hailed as a superfood in southern mediterranean and middle-eastern cooking for millennia - depictions have even been found in ancient Egyptian friezes!
As well as being fat-free, low in calories and low in sodium, these delicious members of the lily family are packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and can be boiled, steamed, grilled or baked. Legend has it they also fight fatigue and are powerful aphrodisiacs - next time you’re on a date in Platform, order a side of grilled asparagus and ricotta to share!
Asparagus, Halloumi and New Potatoes Recipe
This simple recipe is from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s 'Three Good Things on a Plate' and features another Platform favourite - halloumi cheese! A great accompaniment to any meat or veg dish… or pretty damn good just on its own!
600–700g new potatoes, scrubbed or scraped
4–5 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bashed
3 tbsp olive oil
A spritz of lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1–2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley to finish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Cut the potatoes into small chunks. Put them in a large roasting tray with the garlic, add the olive oil and some salt and pepper and toss well.
Roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, snap the woody ends from the asparagus and cut the spears into 3–4cm lengths. Cut the halloumi into 2cm cubes.
Take the potatoes from the oven, add the asparagus and halloumi and toss to combine. You don't want the tray to be too crowded – everything should be in a single layer. Return the tray to the oven for 15 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is starting to caramelise. Discard the garlic.
Add a generous spritz of lemon juice and toss everything again, then transfer to a serving dish. Scatter with parsley, if using, and some more black pepper.
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