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British asparagus, on the first day of the season

April 23, 2011

It’s the first day of the British Asparagus season and I’ve woken up to a cream tea, strawberries and champers, cricket match and picnic basket, sun-blissed Britain, basking in the first of two long Bank Holiday weekends in a row. After a lovely day with the family and a scrumptious barbecue we just want a light dish this evening – one that goes well with a chilled rosé wine.

Just-roasted asparagus tips with baby plum tomatoes, bacon and pasta

Asparagus tip pasta with roast baby plum tomatoes and bacon


150g macaroni
100g (7-8) asparagus tips
3 slices smoked back bacon, sliced
100g baby plum tomatoes, quartered


1. Heat the oven to 220°C

2. Cook the pasta as per the pack instructions

3. Put the asparagus and bacon in a baking tray, with a drizzle of olive oil, and roast for 10 minutes

4. Add the tomatoes to the asparagus and bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes

5. Drain the pasta, and add to the baking tray, stirring well

6. Serve with a smattering of grated cheddar and top up your wine!

Served with a smattering of cheddar and a few turns of cracked black pepper

Strange fact that I’ve learned about asparagus this week from the lovely people at the British Asparagus Growers’ Association – it’s a member of the lily family. I’ve been following their handy countdown on twitter and couldn’t help but get infected by their enthusiasm for the vegetable. They certainly have quite a number of recipes for it, which I’ll be coming back to and plundering while the season lasts. I’m particularly impressed by the last FAQ on their site – “Why don’t we export any of our asparagus if it’s so great?” “A great question, with a great answer! It’s so great we eat it all ourselves leaving none for anyone else!” Too right.

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