I was going to use the heading “Seven inches of heaven” and then thought better of it. After three weeks of warm dry weather the spring has caught up and our asparagus has arrived dead on time, on April 24th, which is the average date on which I’ve collected the first spears in the last six years. In a normal year, a year which isn’t wrecked by Chelsea, I’d be eating asparagus nearly every day until the end of May. In fact I’m perfectly content to have only asparagus followed by rhubarb tart every evening, which makes menu planning very easy for Margaret.
Most recipe books recommend tying the asparagus with string and putting it upright in a pan of boiling water for up to five minutes, with the spears protruding from the water. My method is simpler and better. I steam the asparagus on a rack a casserole dish for about 4 minutes. That’s all it needs. I put the butter in a small Japanese bowl which I place on the rack next to the asparagus, so that it melts while the asparagus is cooking. Nothing could be simpler or more delicious. In fact I can be eating the asparagus within 10 minutes of going out to collect it from the kitchen garden.
Slow life personified.