Friday, 4 June 2010

Asparagus Holstein



The English are supposed to be quite patriotic. I don't think I am, particularly. Certainly, when I see the Cross of St. George, my first thought is, 'Oh no. Football fans...'.

What I do like to see bandied about the place though is the Union Flag. The concept of a happy, unified United Kingdom appeals, and anyway, I was always taught to write 'British' on forms asking for my nationalty, so it is the flag I identify most with.



But whatever. The point is, I found one attached to my asparagus today. That means we're really into British Summertime. Finally! Though the sweltering heat had led to believe this to be the case anyway.

I love asparagus, and I really think ours is the best in the word. This little bunch is going to become Asparagus Holstein, which I know isn't the most British sounding dish in the world, but I read about it in 'Nigella Bites' years ago, and it's my favourite way to eat these juicy, jade-green spears.

It's not glamorous; it's a fried egg plonked onto steamed asparagus. But it's the best first course around at this time of year. Why Holstein? Well, I think that's the name of an asparagus growing region of Germany. If this is how they eat it there too, I may have to pay a visit.

How do you eat yours?

16 comments:

  1. I live in the Netherlands and I must admit I think our white asparagus is pretty tasty. Haven't compared it to British green, however.

    Quite honestly, I like my asparagus fairly plain. I either boil it and eat it with a bit of cheese sauce (or even just salt), or include it in pasta primavera. Asparagus and artichoke are two vegetables I'm happy to eat pretty much cooked & otherwise plain.

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  2. I do love a bit of the Dutch white stuff. It reminds me of lunches in Amsterdam. But you wouldn't believe how much we pay for that here. A small fortune.

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  3. I think the best part about living in Limburg is the cheap asparagus..or maybe the strawberries. But it's not enough reason to keep me here.

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  4. That's hilarious. I need to bear that in mind when I next relocate!

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  5. Mr P! Asparagus is about all that grows locally in my parts!
    We put it in sushi at college once, with smoked salmon,sounds very un-orthodox but it was delicious!
    I now have a sudden urge to create something with asparagus.

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  6. The problem is that no matter where you live, you will always miss food from other places. Now that I'm living in Limburg, I miss my Gouda cheese.

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  7. I love Asparagus, but the stuff found in the states is pathetic, unless your lucky enough to live near big cities with amazing farmer's markets like Seattle or Austin, Texas. I am not so lucky, although I do live literally 5 minutes from an Amish Market...but the asparagus looks like someone dyed a pair of shoestrings green. Not appealing at all.

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  8. i looooove asparagus - either griddled with salt n pepper, or served with chopped boiled egg, crispy bacon and a mustardy salad dressing (its the one thing the woman i worked for in holland made that i liked!). its just great stuff!

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  9. Skewered together into a raft and grilled after being brushed with a bit of oil and garlic or lightly sauteed and drizzled with a good balsamic. Gotta plant my own next spring.

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  10. Mmmmm, asparagus. Love, love, love. How to eat it? Lightly boiled (though it needs to still be crunchy) then chucked into a warm salad with green beans, petit pois and some chopped mint. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, white wine vinegar and s sprinkle of sea salt. Omnomnom. Or just grilled/barbequed with a sprinkling of sea salt.

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  11. Hello, Mr. P. Looks good! I was just reading about supermarkets in the UK selling produce from all over the world when the very item was in season in the UK. They were selling asparagus from Peru instead of the UK. We have the same problem in the states. I refuse to buy it! If we don't support our local farmers, they will disappear. And as for buying out-of-season imports, I'd far rather enjoy the anticipation of the first asparagus of spring or the first luscious peach of summer.

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  12. I love asparagus! I love to make asparagus risotto - yum. And a pasta sauce made with asparagus, prawns or scampi, white wine and just a tiny bit of cream - divine. I also make asparagus frittata - eggs and asparagus go very well together. Oh, and what about lightly steamed, then seasoned with salt, extravirgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon? I eat them in so many ways! The best asparagus I've ever eaten, though, is the asparagus that grows wild in the countryside in Tuscany. My Grandmother used to gather it, it's thin and extremely tasty. Memories...

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  13. Mr P, I'd think the reason it is called Holstein is because it uses similar ingredients to the Old-fashioned classic Veal Holstein, which was called after the gourmet Baron Friedrich von Holstein, a German diplomat in the service of Kaiser Wilhelm II. He apparently liked to have plenty of variety on his plate, so the original dish consisted of a veal cutlet topped by a fried egg, anchovies, capers, and parsley, and surrounded by small piles of caviar, crawfish tails, smoked salmon, mushrooms, and truffles. The modern version tends just to consist of the cutlet, egg, anchovies and capers.

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  14. Nice idea!..Anyways, I love boiled asparagus and I must admit, it's my favorite!

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  15. Betterlate - I like that explanation! I love a dish with history. When Sophie Dahl made an Arnold Bennett omelette on TV a while ago, I literally ahd to get up and make one, just out of curiosity!

    Jean - we do have that problem, and since I won't buy anything further from further away than Spain, it means I never shop in supermarkets for fresh stuff. There's no point!

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  16. I stumbled across your blog via FoodGawker and I love it. I will admit being not a big fan of asparagus but my husband eats it by the bucketload. He loves it lightly chargrilled on the BBQ or griddle pan with melted butter. We're lucky to have a asparagus farm literally on our back doorstep.

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That's what he said.

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