Posts Tagged ‘roast asparagus’

Our neighbor and friend, Joan, dropped by this week with a bag of broad beans (also known as fava beans)–a big bag.

The chore with broad beans is that they have to be shelled before you cook them.

And often de-podded too.

As they mature the outer skin becomes tough and the true delicate taste is missed.

Handy to have guests around in the broad bean season.

“Anything I can do?”

“Well funny you should mention it…”

If you are lucky and have a generous neighbor with green fingers, you could, like us, be gifted with beans so fresh and young that they only require shelling not de-podding too.

Joan is doubly generous; the beans she gave us were picked that day, fully-shelled and ready to cook.

Joan and Meredith went walking round the lake this morning and the beans came up–so to speak.

How was I proposing to cook them?

Joan is eating vegan at the moment, so a favorite way chez nous–broad beans with shallot and bacon–is not possible chez elle.

For lunch today I forgot about the bacon and gently softened a shallot in a tablespoon of olive oil.

Then added 8oz of the ready-to-cook beans*, two tablespoons of water, some fresh mint leaves and salt. I covered the pan and cooked the beans to just tender–about 10 minutes**. I added a little more water along the way, but not too much–as the delicate taste risks being dissipated.

You could–if you are not eating vegan–crumble some feta over the cooking beans, which melts nicely into the water to form a little sauce.

But watch out that the feta doesn’t make the bean too salty.

Thank you, Joan!

Our doubly seasonal lunch included these asparagus roasted with flakes of pecorino and olive oil


*I cooked the beans from the freezer where I had stored them in 8oz baggies, immediately on receiving them. Straight into the pan on a gentle heat.

** Since the beans today were coming from the freezer, they took a bit longer to cook. If you’re working with fresh, it’s more like 7-8 minutes–but you need to watch over them and test.


Read Full Post »

Rachel Lucas just left a comment following the post on Keith Richmond’s olive oil:

I prefer olive oil to butter on everything…currently on steamed English asparagus at almost every meal!….

It inspires me to reproduce the recipe for Roast Asparagus from Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.


We are eating a lot of asparagus at the moment; it’s hard not to–it’s the season and the poor weather has meant the changes that should be happening now are unusually slow in arriving.
Roasting it for a short time at a high temperature makes for a different taste and texture.
We just had some for lunch with a simple new fish recipe for plaice which I’ll post soon.

Asparagus is wonderful, but even in its short season it can get a bit repetitive! This is a handy alternative way; quick and easy with the thinner type.The addition of thyme comes from the River Café.

2 tbsp olive oil
500 g/1 lb asparagus

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves


1. Heat the oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
2. Heat the oil in a shallow baking tray.
3. Turn the asparagus in it and sprinkle over the thyme and

some salt. The roasting time depends on the thickness of the asparagus: about 5 or 6 minutes for thin and a bit longer for the fatter size. It should crisp up a bit.


Read Full Post »