Days off from work make me realise just why I love my
"Eating the seasons" has become a life choice in France. And it's easy! On my days off I just throw my basket over my arm and head off to the market where I find all the seasonal spoils. It probably sounds like a cliché but it's not.
In Bordeaux we are utterly ruined with good markets - the best has to be Capucins where the fruit and veg are lined up like jewels, the choice is phenomenal and the sellers charm you into buying twice as much as you need.
I follow the market shopping with a long coffee outside on a terrace and watch the world go by then meander home and cook. It's bliss.
Today the markets were full of new season's asparagus in every colour, shape and form. Proudly sporting my new basket, I went to my usual chap who just loves to test his English on me. After buying what seemed like a few kilos of asparagus he turned to me winking and said, " Madame, now just WHERE would you like your asperges !" Blushing like a school girl at his innocent (one hopes!) sexual innuendo, I thrust my basket forward, smiled, paid quickly and skuttled away,totally lost in translation, for my much needed caffeine injection.
What can I say...one man's vegetable is another man's sex toy?
Fresh AsparagusBunch of asparagus
Lemin juice and zest
Freshly ground pepper
Boil 5 minutes
Serve...drizzle with best olive oil you can afford, a squirt of lemon juice and some lemon zest, a toss of Malden salt, black pepper....MMMM!!!
O t h e r i d e a s...
Add an "oeuf mollet" or two to make this a balanced yet light meal.
Place large organic eggs in boiling water
Time for 5 minutes
After 5 minutes, take off heat and plunge eggs into a bowl of iced water...wait 2 to 3 minutes then peel. Delicious served with asparagus with piment d'espellette.
Too much asparagus?..whiz them up into a thick creamy velouté to serve as an appero...Time:about 15 minutes, super easy and everyone will be wowed...
Asparagus Appero Velouté
1 kg asparagus
1 onion chopped
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
300ml fresh cream
2T finely scissored flat parsley
lemon infused oil
Boil a kilo of asparagus with chopped onion in the stock for about 8 minutes.
Drain but keep about half the liquid. Throw everything into your food processor or blender ( I use the blender for a smoother result)and whiz it all up. Add cream, continue to whiz. When completely smooth but not too liquid(stop adding cream if looks to liquid) pour the mixture through a sieve - this will make it extra velvety.
Pour into individual cocktail verrines or small expresso cups, add a little parsley to each verrine, a little Malden salt, freshly ground pepper and a few drops of lemon infused oil.
I often serve this with a big platter of radishes,gerkins,hams and patés...good on these chilly Spring evenings with a big glass of Madiran wine...