We love spring for all the fresh vegetables the season brings, and we are so pleased to see the asparagus starting to arrive at Market. This spring veggie, a flowering perennial species of the genus Asparagus, offers its young shoots which are delicious for eating. Water makes up 93% of asparagus’ composition – and this green beauty is low in calories and very low in sodium, whilst also being packed with Vitamin B, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre.
Asparagus is delicious roasted at this time of year, and you can also add flavours like cheese and garlic when roasting. Add asparagus to your carbonara pasta for a delicious twist, or wrap the spears in bacon. It is also a lovely accompaniment to chicken and fish dishes. You can get your fresh asparagus from Market from Donald Smith Horticulture, Melissa Pure Fresh Honey and from Shane Armanini from Armanini Produce, located in Yoogali not far from Griffith, NSW.
2 spears of asparagus cut into 2cm lengths and blanched
20g mild blue cheese
1 pair of latex gloves (so your hands don’t become purple)
– Preheat oven to 160°C.
– Coat beetroot in olive oil.
– Place into a roasting tray, cover in foil and place in the oven for 1 hour or until you can insert a knife with no resistance.
– Remove and let cool.
– Place a pot of water on to boil.
– Once beetroot is cool, put on gloves, peel and grate the beetroot.
– Place grated beetroot into a tea towel and squeeze out the juice.
– Keep the juice and 1tbsp of grated beetroot aside.
– Add the remaining grated beetroot, egg yolk, lemon zest and salt to your ricotta. Mix well.
– Add flour and mix until combined. The dough should stick to your hands, but not leave any stuck to your hands.
– Separate the dough into 2 batches.
– Flour the bench and roll the dough into a long snake, about 1 ½ cm thick.
– Cut into 1cm thick pieces.
– Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and wait for it to rise to the surface.
– Once risen, let the water return to boiling (approx.. 3 mins).
– Scoop out gnocchi or drain water and place gnocchi into ice water until cool. Drain.
– In a non-stick pan, place a small amount of butter and 20ml olive oil (for one serve).
– Place on heat until butter is melted.
– Place 16 pieces of gnocchi into the pan and continually toss the gnocchi to brown the outside and reheat.
– Once some colour appears and the gnocchi is hot all the way through, add the 1tbsp of grated beetroot and 20ml of the kept beetroot juice. Stir. The juice will reduce and coat the gnocchi, making it a bright purple.
– Add the blanched asparagus and toss.
– Place into a serving bowl and crumble the blue cheese over the top.