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Mains & Light Meals

Chicken and Asparagus Tart

1 large sheet ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
10 gram butter
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
10 asparagus spears, halved
3 eggs
cup milk
teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
180 gram ricotta cheese, crumbled
1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken
cup grated tasty cheese

Preheat oven to moderate (180 C).
Line a 22 cm, 4.5cm deep round loose-based flan tin with pastry, trim edges. Cover with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes, remove paper and beans or rice, bake a further 5 minutes. Cool.
Increase oven temperature to 200 C. Heat butter in a medium frying pan. Cook onion on low heat without browning, for about 10 minutes or until very soft.
Add the asparagus to a small pan of boiling water, return to boil, cook for 1 minute, drain and place in a bowl of iced water; drain.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add ricotta, stir to combine.
Place onions and chicken over base of pastry, arrange asparagus on top. Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for about 35 40 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Serve with a side salad.
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Asparagus Custard

500 gram asparagus
45 gram butter
1 onion, finely sliced
cup diced ham
1 cup cream
3 eggs
cup milk
salt and pepper
cup grated melting cheese

Trim asparagus and cut into 4 cm lengths. Cook until just tender. Melt the butter and cook the onion on low heat without browning, for about 10 minutes or until very soft. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the asparagus.
In a separate bowl combine cream with eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and cheese. Gently stir through ham, asparagus and onion.
Butter an ovenproof dish that holds about 5 cups (or use 4 individual dishes). Spoon in the mixture, distributing the asparagus around as evenly as you can. Bake in a moderate oven (180 C) for about 25 minutes or until just set on the edges. Leave it a little soft in the centre. Reduce cooking time for individual dishes. Let the dish sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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asparagusGrilled Eggplant and Asparagus Sandwich

2 medium eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
50 gram butter
1/3 finely chopped spring onions
cup plain flour
1 cup milk
cup grated parmesan cheese
100 gram prosciutto, finely shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and ground black pepper
1 egg yolk

Souffle Topping
1 egg white
cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to moderate (180 C).
Cut eggplant into six slices lengthways. Sprinkle with salt, stand 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain. Pat dry with paper towel.
Brush one side of eggplant with oil, grill for 4-5 minutes, turn. Brush with oil and grill. Trim asparagus and cook till tender crisp. Cut 6 asparagus into 5 cm lengths, set aside. Finely chop remaining asparagus. Heat butter in medium pan. Add onions, cook over medium high heat 1 minute. Stir in flour, add milk gradually to pan, stirring until mixture is smooth. Stir constantly over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture thickens: boil 1 minute more.
Add cheese, prosciutto, juice, yolk and chopped asparagus. Season to taste. Mix well. Remove from heat.
Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place six eggplant slices on tray. Spread asparagus filling evenly over each eggplant slice. Top with remaining eggplant slices.
To make souffl topping beat eggwhites until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over top layer of eggplant. Sprinkle with extra cheese, decorate with remaining asparagus. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
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Asparagus & Potato Frittata

6 large eggs
2 large potatoes - boiled till soft, then cubed
250 gram asparagus trimmed, cut into 2.5cm pieces, cooked till crisp
2 onions thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped finely
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
handful fresh parsley - chopped
handful fresh basil chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk eggs gently with cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy base frying pan. Fry onion and garlic until onions are soft. Add potatoes, asparagus and herbs. Pour over eggs, turn down heat.
Continue cooking till underside is golden brown. Finish off the top under a hot grill.
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Gnocchi with Asparagus and Blue Cheese Sauce

1kg fresh gnocchi
500g asparagus trimmed and cooked till crisp
bunch fresh thyme
100ml white wine
300ml cream
100ml milk
150 g ram Gippsland Blue cheese
pinch nutmeg

Reduce wine in a heavy based saucepan by one third. Add cream and milk, simmering gently till slightly thickened. Gradually whisk in blue cheese, thyme leaves and nutmeg.
Arrange gnocchi in bowl, scatter over asparagus and top with blue cheese sauce.
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Pasta with Asparagus and Rocket

Packet pasta of choice cooked as per packet instructions
250 gram asparagus trimmed, cooked till tender crisp, halved
2 large handfuls rocket shredded
2 small red chillies finely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 clove garlic finely chopped
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine asparagus, rocket, chilli, lemon rind, garlic and cheese, mix well. Add to cooked pasta with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.
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Asparagus Slice

1 sheet prepared puff pastry
250 gram asparagus trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
1 hard boiled egg
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
egg to glaze
poppy seed

Cut pastry in half. Mash egg, butter and mayonnaise together. Season with salt and pepper. Spread egg mix over one half sheet and top with asparagus. Place other half of sheet over top, seal and glaze with egg. Sprinkle over poppy seeds. Place on baking paper and bake in preheated moderate oven for 12-15 minutes. Slice on the diagonal. Back to top

Pasta with Asparagus Cream Sauce

1 packet pasta cooked to packet directions
250 gram asparagus trimmed, cut in thirds
40 gram butter
2 cloves garlic
1 red capsicum sliced
1 red Spanish onion sliced
2 (300g) zucchini sliced
300 ml cream
bunch English spinach well washed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
grated parmesan cheese

Heat butter in pan, add garlic, capsicum, onion, zucchini, and asparagus. Stir fry until vegetables are just tender, add cream and spinach. Bring to boil, stirring until slightly thickened, add chives. Pour over pasta. Serve with parmesan.
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Pasta with Asparagus, Peas & Herb Sauce

1 packet pasta cooked to packet directions
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
500 gram asparagus trimmed, cut in thirds
2 leeks white part only, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup peas
1 tablespoon mint -finely chopped
cup parsley - finely chopped
cup basil - shredded
1/3 cup cream
pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese

Place cup stock and leeks in a large deep pan. Cook over low heat 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, peas and mint. Cook one minute. Add remaining stock and cup water, bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Add asparagus, parsley, basil and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer till asparagus is tender- 3-4 minutes. Gradually increase heat to reduce sauce. Stir in cream, nutmeg and parmesan. Add sauce to pasta, serve with extra parmesan.
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Asparagus and Pistachio Risotto

1 litre vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
1/3 olive oil
1 red onion finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
500 gram asparagus trimmed, cut into 3 cm pieces
cup cream
1 cup parmesan cheese
cup shelled pistachio nuts toasted and roughly chopped

Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add onion and cook till soft. Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Pour in wine. Add stock, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low with lid on for about 15 minutes. Add asparagus. Cook a further 5 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in cream and parmesan. Serve sprinkled with pistachios.
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Chicken with seasonal vegetables

Char-grill or poach a skinless chicken breast fillet. Serve with new potatoes and serve with crisp asparagus and fresh seasonal vegetables of choice.
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Smoked Salmon and Asparatus Tart
(Recipe submitted by Christina)

1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
100 gms smoked salmon
large bunch of asparagus - blanched
1 round of camembert or brie cheese
3 eggs
1 cup light sour cream
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
Use an oblong tin for best results. A removable base one is great or line a slice tin with baking paper.
Place in thawed pastry and fill with dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove beans and bake further 5 minutes. Cool.
Line base of pastry with smoked salmon slices, add sliced camembert or brie, arrange trimmed asparagus vertically across tin. Beat eggs and cream, salt
and pepper together and pour over the top, sprinkle with grated parmesan.
Bake for approx 20 - 25 mins or until puffed and golden. Yummy! Enjoy! Great with salad, crusty bread and a crisp cool white!

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