Tag Archives: Asparagus

Celebrating Spring

The arrival of spring is such an exciting time of the year. Blossoms. Ducklings. Daffodils. My birthday.Sunshine. Dresses. Asparagus. I love spring and the flavours of spring but I still struggle to cook seasonally. I blame reading food blogs written by people in the Northern Hemisphere. It takes some restraint to bookmark all the pumpkin recipes appearing online and not succumb to ‘order envy’ and to embrace what is in season here.

Spring is the season for asparagus, avocados, beetroot, courgette, cucumber and tangelo so I’ll be trying to make the most of these ingredients being cheap and at their tastiest in the coming weeks. I’m terrible at remembering what is in season when, but the Healthy Food Guide has a great reference chart you can easily glance at to see what fruits and veges are available when.

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This stir-fry is very simple. It consists of just orange, pork and asparagus, seasoned and flavoured with a little olive oil and garlic. The flavour combination may seem strange but is light and fresh. I think a cool glass of white wine would have just made it… next time.

Pork, Asparagus & Orange Stir Fry Recipe
(adapted from Good House Keeping)

(serves 2 or 4 if served with rice)

Ingredients

  • 200g pork, sliced into strips (use a bit more pork if serving 4)
  • 500g (2 bunches) asparagus, stalks halved
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Grate 1 teaspoon of rind from the first orange and squeeze 1/4 cup of orange juice from it. Set aside.
2. Cut the skin and pitch (white bitter coating under the skin) from the second orange. Cut the flesh 8 wedges and then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over a medium-high heat and stir fry the pork until just cooked. (Don’t over cook it as I did or it will be chewy). Remove pork from pan and set aside.
4. Add asparagus to pan with orange rind, garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook for two minutes until the asparagus is bright green and tender crisp.
5. Add orange juice, pork & orange pieces. Heat through.
6. Season with salt and pepper then serve.

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Beef with Asparagus and Mushrooms

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If I could post smells instead of pictures on this blog, then today it would be the smell of these vegetables cooking. The asparagus, onion, mushrooms cooking in olive oil, rosemary, garlic and lemon juice were fragrant and made the kitchen smell incredible.

Asparagus being back made me a happy grocery shopper this morning and I had to try it out in this South Beach recipe for Beef with Asparagus and Mushrooms. I’m no fan of the South Beach diet – I’m too much of a carbohydrate lover to follow it but I have found that the website has some really, really delicious, nutrient packed meal ideas.

This dish is very simple – pan-fried steak and sautéed vegetables. The addition of garlic, rosemary and especially the lemon zest takes it from being potentially boring to something to get excited about (unless I’m the only one who gets excited about a good feed?!).  I’ve re-written the recipe here in metric measurements and for 2 portions instead of 4.

Beef with Asparagus and Mushrooms (from the South Beach Diet)

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 portions of steak
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2t dried rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, roughly diced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, with spears cut into thirds
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, freshly ground

Method

1. Score the steak with diagonal lines
2. Rub 1t rosemary, 1 clove garlic into the steak and season with salt and pepper
3. Heat 1/2T of oil over a medium-high heat and fry steak for ~4 minutes on each side (for medium-rare)
4. Cover the meat with foil while preparing the vegetables.
5. Reduce heat to medium and heat the remaining 1/2T of oil
6. Sauté onion for 2 minutes
7. Add remaining garlic and stir through
8. Add mushrooms and asparagus, cook for 5 minutes until asparagus is cooked through but still crisp and mushrooms are turning golden brown
9. Add the lemon zest and remaining 1t of rosemary
8. Season with salt and pepper before serving

If you’re like me and get grumpy with-out some carbs or you’re hungry I’d recommend serving this with some boiled baby potatoes. Mm.

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