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Asparagus Tips, by Stuart Philipps, The Hundred House

Stuart Phillips, Chef Patron, Hundred House, Norton, Shropshire

Stuart Phillips, Chef Patron, Hundred House, Norton, Shropshire

Stuart Philipps of The Hundred House, Shropshire, shares his Chefs ‘Tips’ On Asparagus

How to Prepare and Eat Asparagus

We are very spoilt as we are only a few miles away from Quatt Farm Asparagus, grown by Caroline Lees – Serving most of the finest restaurants and retailers in the UK, but Caroline always makes sure she keeps some fresh Bridgnorth asparagus for us at the Hundred House. If the asparagus is young and thin – up to ¾ cm thick, simply drop into a large pan of boiling well salted water for 2 – 3 minutes till tender then serve. If the asparagus is more mature and thicker, peel the skin using a potato peeler, from the last 2 inches near the base of the stem and cook a little longer.
A great alternative to poaching is grilling or roasting (if you have a good hot oven) place prepared asparagus on a tray. Rub all over, paying close attention to the tips, with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and finally sprinkle with a little water. Grill or roast for 3 -4 minutes turning occasionally till lightly browned and tender

Asparagus with tomato & olive salsa, chive coulis & shaved parmesan
A recipe for 4 greedy, but well deserving guests

6 tomatoes (choose ones that smell of tomato & do not refrigerate)
1 small bunch of chives chopped ½ cm long
1 handful of Kalamato olives chopped ½ cm long
½ lemon juice & zest of
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt & ground black pepper

•    Remove tomato skins by blanching in boiling water
•    Cut tomato in half & scoop out the seeds into a sieve over a bowl
•    Push the seeds against the sieve with a spoon to collect the juice then discard
•    Chop the tomato & olives into roughly ½ cm chunks and add to bowl with the lemon, olive oil & seasoning.
Turn over with a spoon & taste. The salsa should be tart & fruity with depper overtones of the olives & oil.

Serve this with 6 spears of warm freshly grilled medium thick asparagus per person & shave over flakes of parmesan.
Eat with your fingers & good bread if company allows – its move tasty & naughty.

Spears of British asparagus, freshly cut & full of sap, with vernant rich green stems & purpling buds are what chefs dream of as spring arrive & summer beckons.
Available from Mid April to midsummer’s day it is the most seasonal & eagerly awaited of all British veg. Our cool climate allows it to grow more slowly & develop flavour further than in hotter climates. The fact that it travels no distance mean that it is minerally, nettley flavour is retained.
At the Hundred House we never serve asparagus out of season & most of our asparagus comes from Caroline Lees at Lodge Farm, Quatt. Only five miles down the road. All foreign asparagus is like driftwood compared to this. So if your wise you will cook it everyday until midsummer’s day or come & see us & ask for our asparagus menu ideas see below or visit www.hundredhouse.co.uk.

Asparagus Served at the Hundred House

Asparagus Served at the Hundred House

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