Phil Vickery's Asparagus Recipes

Phil Vickery's Asparagus Recipes

It's officially asparagus season, so Phil Vickery is in the This Morning kitchen with five recipes to use those super spears.

Grilled Asparagus with Shallot Dressing and Parmesan.Ingredients:200 - 250grms Nice, young, English asparagus tipsExtra virgin olive oil, 2 - 3 tablespoons2 Small shallots peeled and chopped as finely as possible2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegarSea salt, freshly milled black pepper, castor sugar6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 Tablespoons cold water75grms Fresh, shaved ParmesanCHAR(13) + CHAR(10)Method:First step is to make the dressing, its best left overnight so the flavours can soften and blend together, to prove what I mean, once you have finished the dressing taste it, and then taste it the next day, the difference is amazing.Put the mustard, and vinegar together in a bowl and whisk together add a pinch of sugar, salt and a couple twists of the pepper mill then gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream so the whole dressing emulsifies and thickens.Finally add the cold water so you should end up with a sauce like consistency, again check the seasoning and adjust if needed, I rather like my dressing to be quite sharp and tangy. Leave to soften.Next, warm up the griddle pan, but not too hot, brush the asparagus spears with olive oil and place in the pan, season well with salt and pepper and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side turning occasionally, the outside skin will slightly char and blister.When cooked arrange on a large plate and drizzle over the dressing and top with the Parmesan shavings.Serve warm with plenty of crusty bread.Salad of artichokes, quails eggs and asparagusIngredients:1 350g jar baby artichokes in oil350g English asparagus tips1 tbsp sherry vinegarpinch of caster sugarfinely grated zest of half a lemon, plus a little juice3 tbsp extra virgin olive oilabout 300g / 10½oz lambs lettuce12 quails eggssalt and freshly ground black pepperMethod:Drain the artichokes well then cut each into quartersCook the asparagus tips in plenty of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes, then lift out of the water and plunge into a bowl of cold water to refresh. When cool drain well and place on kitchen paper to dry. Keep at room temperature.Next make the dressing - place the sherry vinegar in a bowl, season and add a pinch of sugar, the lemon zest and a touch of the juice then finally whisk in the oilWash the lambs lettuce then drain wellNext, soft boil the eggs - bring a small pan of water to the boil, carefully add the quails eggs then bring the water back to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. After this time immediately place the pan under cold running water to cool quickly. Carefully peel the cooled eggs.To serve, toss the asparagus tips and artichokes together in a bowl with a little of the dressing then arrange on plates. Cut the eggs in half lengthways, they should be just runny and soft, and arrange six halves on each plate. Finally add a little of the dressing and salt and pepper to the lambs lettuce and toss then pile on top of the salad.Asparagus, basil and pasta saladPhil Vickery says:"English asparagus is the best in the world and has always been a great favourite of mine. It's only around for a month or two between May and June so make the most of it."Once the season is underway it's good value for money at around £2 for 450g/1lb. Do buy the young spears as the older jumbo spears will need to be peeled and cooked for slightly longer. Asparagus always works well with pasta and parmesan so here a great lunch dish using all three.Ingredients:250g/9oz fresh pasta spirals200g/7oz English asparagus tipsFor the dressing:2 tsp Dijon mustard2 tbsp white wine vinegar6 tbsp olive oil100g/3½oz parmesan shavings2 tbsp chopped fresh basilsalt and freshly ground black pepperMethod:Cook asparagus tips in boiling salted water until just tender and drain well.Whisk together mustard and vinegar , then slowly add olive oil, still whisking until emulsified then gently stir in Parmesan shavings.Combine cooked, drained pasta with the asparagus and mix together, adding the dressing, chopped basil and salt and pepper.Phil's tips:Fresh pasta weighs about one and a half times as much as dried pasta, so if you want to use dried pasta for this recipe you'll need about 175g/6oz.If the dressing thickens too much you can thin it slightly with a few drops of cold water.To make parmesan shavings use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to shave thin slices off the side of the block of parmesan.Asparagus soup with crème fraîcheIngredients:2 onions, finely chopped1 large potato, peeled and cubed1 leek finely chopped50g baby spinach leaves1.2 litres water2 x 10g vegetable stock cubes500g cooked, chilled and very green asparagus100g browned, flaked almonds200g crème fraiche6 tbsp chopped chivesMethod:Cook onions, leek and potato in vegetable stock until tender and then cool.Add cooked ,chilled asparagus and spinach and liquidise.Add salt and pepper, creme fraiche, chives and toasted almonds.Bubble and squeak with asparagus and butter sauceIngredients:500g English asparagus, washed and cut into 4" lengths500g cold mashed potato, no milk or butterSalt and freshly milled black pepper1 small leek, trimmed, washed chopped and cooked in a little butter or oilAbout ½ lb cooked cabbage, savoy is the best for this I think1 egg yolk2-3 tbsp vegetable oil2 tbsp white wine vinegar100mls dry white winePinch salt and pepper100mls whipping cream75g cold butterMethod:Mix the cold potato, cabbage, leek and egg yolk together well.Add salt and pepper, the mixture should be quite dry and firm.Mould into 4 cakes do not make them too thin or its difficult to turn them over when cooking.Next put the vinegar, white wine, and salt and pepper into a saucepan and bring to the boil, cook down until you have about 2-3 tablespoons left.Pop in the cream and bring to the boil again cook until the sauce starts to thicken.Remove from the heat and add the butter in small cubes whisking all the time. The sauce will thicken naturally.Check the seasoning and adjust if needed. Keep warm and covered.Remember this sauce is almost like a seasoning so you only need a small amount.Place a sauce pan of cold water on the stove and season well with salt and bring to the boilHeat the veg oil in a frying pan and carefully lay in the 4 bubbles, cook nice and slowly until golden and then flip over with a fish slice or pallette knife, cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Keep warm.Finally cook the asparagus in the now boiling water for no more than 4 minutes, drain well.Place the bubbles in the centre of a large plate, top with the asparagus and drizzle over a little of the sauce.

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