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Al Brown's Asparagus with Romesco sauce and Runny Egg

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Jo Freeman | 0 comments

I have made this dish twice in the last week. It came about solely because I had some romesco sauce left in the fridge from another dish I made recently. With fresh asparagus and the warm runny egg, it’s seriously good and would make a great Xmas or Boxing Day brunch!

Step 1. Romesco Sauce

Ingredients:

1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup stale crusty baguette (diced)
3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
2 red peppers (roasted, peeled and rough chopped)
4 ripe tomatoes (blanched, deseeded and rough chopped)
1/2 cup almonds (toasted and skins removed)
3Tbsp sherry vinegar
¼ cup Italian parsley (finely chopped)
1tsp smoked paprika (Dulce/Sweet)
1 pinch hot chilli powder
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Method:

Heat a large non-stick pan, cook bread in olive oil till lightly golden. Add garlic, capsicum, tomato, and cook over medium heat till soft. Add almonds, sherry vinegar and heat through. Finally add the parsley and remove from the heat.

Place ingredients a food processor or similar, and pulse until almost smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with spices, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until required.

Step 2. Cooking and Serving

Ingredients:

6 Benniks free range eggs
36 spears of asparagus (woody ends snapped off)
Romesco Sauce (room temperature)
Parmesan cheese (shaved)
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method:

Bring two medium to large saucepans up to the boil with salted water.

First, place the asparagus into one of the saucepans and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain and keep warm.

Now add the eggs to the other saucepan and poach until just soft.

To serve, divvy out the asparagus onto warm plates. Top with a dollop of romesco sauce. Carefully add an egg to each then finish with shaved fresh parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt and fresh black pepper. Serve now.

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Asparagus Pizza

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Jo Freeman | 0 comments

This is a delicious vegetarian pizza. Roasting asparagus on top of a pizza in a super-hot oven makes it deliciously tender and a bit caramelised. You can use a gluten free pizza base too to accommodate those with gluten intolerances or allergies.

Serves 3-4 (makes 2 pizzas)

Ingredients:

Pizza bases (we like 58 Base pizza bases best!)

3 T olive oil, plus a little extra to trickle over.

500g asparagus, trimmed

2 onions, finely sliced

2 cups grated mozarella cheese

3/4 cup grated mature gouda cheese

Salt & pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven at 200C. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions. Once sizzling, reduce the heat to low and cook gently, stirring from time to time, until they are soft & golden, about 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

2. Spread half of the onions over each pizza bases, then arrange the asparagus over the top. Scatter the mozzarella cheese & grated gouda over the asparagus. Season with salt & pepper.

3. Add a generous trickle of oil over the pizza and bake for 10-12 minutes until the base is crisp and the asparagus tender.

4. Serve hot, cut into slices.

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Irene's Thai inspired Chicken & Asparagus Stir-fry

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Jo Freeman | 0 comments

This is a quick and healthy meal. Organic chicken boneless thighs are sautéed with asparagus and soy sauce, fish sauce, chilli and freshly chopped garlic. Simply serve on a bed of rice.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500g free range boneless chicken thigh cutlets, cut into bit-sized pieces

250g asparagus, cut into 5cm pieces

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red chilli (optional), seed removed and chopped

2T soy sauce

2 T fish sauce

1 T water

2 T Canola oil 

Jasmine rice (to serve) 

Method:

1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Turn the heat down slightly.

3. Add the chicken and sauté for 2 minutes until partially cooked. Remove chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer onto a plate.

4. Add the asparagus to the pan along with soy sauce, fish sauce and 1 T water. Stir fry for 3 minutes.

5. Add the chicken and remaining 1 T soy sauce. Stir fry for another 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Add the chilli (optional) and cook for another 30 seconds.

6. Serve on a bed of rice.

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Irene's Chargrilled Asparagus, Zucchini & Haloumi

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Jo Freeman | 0 comments

This generous salad is a meal in itself. It is laden with enough colours, textures & aromas to be the centre of a light Spring supper.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

250g (1 punnet) cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup olive oil 

2 zucchini

500g asparagus 

150g halloumi, sliced

Salt & black pepper

For the basil oil

¼ cup olive oil

1 garlic cloves, chopped

25g fresh basil

A pinch of salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Method:

1. Snap the woody bases of the asparagus off and blanch for 4 minutes in boiling water. Drain & refresh under cold water, making sure the spears are completely cold. Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss in 2 T of the olive oil and some salt & pepper.

2. Slice the zucchini very thinly lengthwise (use a mandolin if you have one, or a vegetable peeler). Mix with 1 T of the olive oil & season with salt & pepper.

3. Place a large griddle pan on the stove over high heat for a few minutes until very hot. Brush with olive oil. Grill the zucchini & asparagus, turning them over after a minute. You want to get nice char marks on all sides. Remove and leave to cool.

4. Heat 2-3 T of olive oil on the griddle pan and fry the halloumi cheese and cherry tomatoes for a 2 minutes on each side or until the cheese is golden.

5. To make the basil oil, blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. You might want to double the quantity for some blender blades to be effective. Keep any extra oil for future salads.

6. To serve, place the zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes & halloumi cheese on serving plates. Drizzle the basil oil and serve.

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Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Feta and Rocket

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Jo Freeman | 0 comments

Today, Quinoa is known as a 'super grain' befitting its amazing nutrition profile. Quinoa is a balanced-amino acid source of high quality protein. It is naturally gluten-free, wheat-free, easy to digest and is among the least allergenic foods available. A versatile product, quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in almost any recipe.

Ingredients:

500ml water

150g quinoa (either black, white or a mixture)

2 bunches asparagus (about 500g)

1 red onions diced into thin half moons (but these in a bowl with ice water for 10minutes to take the bitterness out of them)

1/2 cup crumbled Kingsmeade Castlepoint Feta

40g toasted almonds or Sunflower seeds

2T freshly cut parsley, chopped

2T lemon juice

2T olive oil

1t paprika

100g rocket from Zoe's Garden

Method:

Combine water and quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, preheat a large chargrill on high. Spray lightly with oil. Cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Once cool, chop these into salad size bits.

Add the asparagus, feta, sunflower seed or almonds, onion and parsley to the quinoa.

Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add the dressing and rocket to the quinoa mixture. Season with pepper and toss to combine.

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