As Spring arrives, Britain’s asparagus spears begin to surface, ready to be greeted with almost religious fervour on social media platforms. While the season doesn’t officially begin until late April, typically lasting until June, British asparagus seems to become available earlier each year. In addition to containing essential vitamins and health benefits, believed to help detoxify the body and increase libido, Asparagus is also delicious in a variety of recipes. Simply serve with hollandaise sauce and/or poached eggs, or raw, shaved and dressed with some olive oil and parmesan. Chef owner of The Black Swan, Roots and Made in Oldstead, Tommy Banks has also shared a recipe for asparagus with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and blue cheese, in celebration of asparagus season’s arrival.
At his restaurants, Tommy Banks utilises high quality produce, much of which is sourced from a tiny pocket of Yorkshire. In this recipe, the asparagus is quickly blistered under the grill and served with roasted Jerusalem artichokes, plus blue cheese for a whisper of acidity and pumpkin seeds to add textural depth.
On his asparagus with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and blue cheese recipe, Tommy Banks says: “This is such a delicious salad with loads of interesting stuff in there, rather than just a big pile of leaves. The flavour mixture is as if two seasons are colliding using the very last of the winter Jerusalems [artichokes] and the first of the asparagus. You have the wintery flavours of the smoky and sticky Artichokes and the acidic blue cheese mixed with the summery freshness of the asparagus. With the pumpkin seeds on there too it all works really nicely.”
- 12 Asparagus tips dressed in oil
- 500 g Jerusalem artichoke
- 2 tbsp oil
- 40 g butter
- 40 ml oil
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 50 g pumpkin seeds
- 200 g blue cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Add butter and oil to baking tray and heat until foaming. Meanwhile, rinse and scrub artichokes to remove any dirt. Halve the small ones and quarter the bigger ones, coat everything with 2tbsp oil and season generously.
- Carefully remove the pre-heated baking tray and add the artichoke, along with the thyme and rosemary. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes until soft inside and crispy outside.
- With 10 minutes remaining, pre-heat grill to 200C and grill your asparagus until the skin starts to blister, around 10 minutes, rotating halfway through. On a separate tray add your pumpkin seeds and roast in the oven.
- To serve, place artichokes in a large bowl, evenly distribute asparagus, sprinkle pumpkin seeds and crumble blue cheese over to finish.
Related: How To Make: Greens & Potato Gnocchi