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Soups and Starters

Asparagus with Dill Cream Dip

500g asparagus, trimmed
cup sour cream
bunch dill, chopped
salt & ground black pepper
lemon juice

Blanch asparagus by plunging into boiling water, returning to the boil for 1- 3 minutes, drain, refresh under cold running water. Drain again. Place sour cream in a bowl, add dill, season to taste, mix well. Add a few drops lemon juice to taste.
Place bowl in the middle of a round platter, arrange the asparagus around the bowl. Use asparagus as a dipping stick.
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Asparagus with Herb Sauce

500g asparagus, cooked to retain a crunch
2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
3 spring onions, chopped
bunch dill
3 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon capers, drained
cup lemon juice
cup olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Using a food processor, mince garlic finely, add parsley, spring onions and dill, chop finely. Add anchovy fillets, capers and lemon juice, process until smooth. Add oil slowly in a steady stream, process until well combined. Season to taste. Transfer to a bowl, stir through eggs. Serve sauce separately at the table, using asparagus as a dipping stick.
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Asparagus Tapas

12 fat asparagus spears, trimmed
1 cup chicken stock
salt & ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
teaspoon paprika
pinch dried thyme
12 strips ham, thinly sliced, about 7 cm x 4 cm

Heat stock with 1 cup water, bring to boil. Season if necessary. Blanch asparagus by plunging into boiling water, returning to the boil for 1- 3 minutes. Drain, and spread out on a tea towel to dry. (Keep liquid as a base for a wonderful soup.)
Mix oil , vinegar, garlic, paprika and thyme. About an hour before serving, place the asparagus in a shallow dish and pour over marinade. Stir to coat each stalk.
Cut each stalk in half. Place together and wrap in ham, so that the asparagus can be seen and put on a plate with the join down. Don t leave longer than an hour as the asparagus will discolour.
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asparagusVegetable Frittata Wedges

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 medium sized potato, thinly sliced
salt
1 bunch asparagus, cooked to retain a crunch
1 red capsicum, cut into strips
1 zucchini, cut into strips
12 pitted black olives
6 eggs, beaten
pepper
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Pour oil into a 23 cm pie plate. Spread onions over base, top with potato. Lightly season with salt, cover with foil. Bake at 180 C (moderate oven) for 30 minutes.
Arrange zucchini, capsicum, asparagus and olives over potato in a circle. Pour over eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve warm or cold.
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Asparagus and Parmesan Gratin

1 kg cooked asparagus
60 gram unsalted butter, melted
salt and ground black pepper
30 g grated parmesan cheese
60 gram sliced prosciutto

Arrange spears in a shallow, ovenproof dish, pour over melted butter, season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently, sprinkle with parmesan. Place dish under a hot grill, about 15 cm from the heat, cook until cheeses is bubbly (about 3 minutes). Remove from grill, sprinkle with prosciutto, serve on heated plates.
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asparagusAsparagus Soup with Toasted Almond Flakes

60 gram flaked almonds
30 gram butter
500 gram asparagus, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
150 ml cream
salt and ground black pepper

Brown almonds carefully in oven or non-stick fry pan. Set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan, add asparagus and onion, saut gently until onion is tender (about 5 minutes). Add stock, simmer gently until asparagus is tender. Transfer to a processor or blender, puree and pour back into pan. Add cream and heat through gently, do not boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in heated soup bowls with almonds scattered on top.
This soup is also good chilled. When you have finished making it, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Do not add almonds until ready to serve.
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asparagusAsparagus Soup with Orange

1 1 kg asparagus, trimmed
5 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 potato, diced
cup and 2 tablespoon orange juice
cup cr me fraiche (or sour cream)
teaspoon orange zest
salt and pepper
.
Cut asparagus into 5 cm pieces. Set aside some tips for garnish.
Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion salt and pepper to taste. Saut over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add potatoes and one cup of stock, cover pot and cook until potatoes are soft. Add asparagus and rest of stock. Bring to boil, simmer uncovered for about 12-15 minutes until asparagus is soft. Puree in a blender adding cup orange juice. Season to taste. Cook tips until crisp and tender.
To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls, top with dollops of cr me fraiche which has been mixed with the 2 tablespoons orange juice and zest. Finish with a few asparagus tips.
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asparagusAsparagus and Salmon Salad

750 gram asparagus trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
mixed lettuce leaves
500g smoked salmon slices

lemon yogurt sauce-
1 cup low fat plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Arrange lettuce leaves, asparagus and salmon on 4 serving plates. Combine sauce ingredients, spoon over salad.
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Asparagus and Prawn au Gratin

500 gram asparagus trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
25 gram butter
50 gram button mushrooms quartered
50 gram peeled prawns chopped
140 ml cream
salt and pepper
50 gram Gruyere cheese grated
25 gram Parmesan cheese grated

Place asparagus in a flameproof dish. Melt butter in pan, add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add prawns, cream, salt and pepper. Pour over the asparagus. Combine the cheeses and sprinkle over the asparagus. Cook under a hot grill until top is golden brown.
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Asparagus and prawn Salad

500 gram asparagus - trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
250 gram button mushrooms
milk
salt and pepper
500 gram shelled prawns
lettuce leaves of choice
Dressing
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil (or olive oil)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onions
salt and pepper

Place cleaned mushrooms in a pan with sufficient milk to come about halfway up the mushrooms. Season. Cook over low heat bout 10 minutes. Drain well. Arrange lettuce on individual plates. Place prawns and mushrooms on lettuce. Arrange the asparagus on top. Spoon the combined dressing ingredients over top.
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Asparagus and Prawns with Fennel Sauce

250 gram asparagus - trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
500 gram prawns

The prawns and asparagus are eaten with the fingers using the sauce as a dip.

Sauce-
2 clove garlic chopped finely
green capsicum chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons fennel leaf chopped finely
2 teaspoons garlic chives
50 ml cream
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoon cream cheese
pinch of paprika
black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt butter in pan, add garlic, capsicum, fennel and chives and cook for 2 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Beating vigorously, add the egg yolks and heat gently till thickened. Remove from heat , add the cream chees and stir till blended. Season with paprika, pepper and lemon. Mix well and pour into individual serving dishes. Serve warm or cold.
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Asparagus with Egg and Caper Dressing

850 gram asparagus trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
3 hardboiled eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of chilli
salt to taste
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon parsley chopped finely

Peel eggs, separate white from yolks. Place the yolks, oil, lemon juice, salt, chilli and capers in a food processor and blend. Arrange asparagus on individual plates, cover with dressing and sprinkle with finely chopped egg white and parsley.
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asparagusWarm Asparagus and Egg Salad

400 gram asparagus trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
4 hardboiled eggs
8 anchovy fillets
black pepper
parmesan shavings

Dressing-
cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic crushed

Combine dressing ingredients. Peel eggs while still warm. Arrange asparagus on serving plates while still warm. Cut eggs in half. Drain anchovy fillets. Arrange with the eggs over the warm asparagus. Drizzle dressing over salad. Sprinkle over pepper and parmesan.
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Asparagus and Egg Mayonnaise

500 gram asparagus trimmed and cooked till tender crisp
4 hard boiled eggs
paprika

Dressing-
4 tablespoon double cream
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sherry
1 teaspoon lemon juice
150 ml mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Reserve eight tips of asparagus for garnish. Chop the remainder and arrange in the base of four individual dishes. Cut the eggs in half and arrange cut side down, on the asparagus. Spoon combined dressing ingredients over the eggs. Garnish with the reserved asparagus tips and dust lightly with paprika.
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