Monday, May 16, 2016

There was a buzz of excitement in the air at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market this week.  The asparagus had arrived!  Edgar Farms from Innisfail AB had a table stacked high with the most fabulous looking asparagus.  Every customer who walked through the market was grasping their prized asparagus like it was pure farmers market gold!  

We grow the most delicious asparagus on our family farm at Innisfail AB. We have a very short picking season, generally mid-may until the end of June. Asparagus grown in our sandy soil and with our cool nights produce incredibly sweet asparagus jam packed full of flavour.

There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy asparagus but here are my two favorites:
Traditionally Egg and Soldiers is soft boiled eggs and crunchy, buttered toast cut into dipping strips. When asparagus is in season they are a wonderful toast replacement. I boil my eggs using Delia's soft boiled method.

First of all have a small saucepan (or the right sized saucepan depending on how many eggs you need) filled with enough water to cover the eggs by about 1cm.
Bring it up to the boil and when large bubbles are breaking on the surface quickly but gently lower the eggs (from room temperature) into the water, one at a time, using a tablespoon.
Now switch the timer on and give the eggs exactly 1 minute's simmering time.
Then remove the pan from the heat, put a lid on it and set the timer again, giving the following timings:
6 minutes will produce a soft, fairly liquid yolk and a white that is just set but still quite wobbly.
7 minutes will produce a firmer more creamy yolk with a white that is completely set.

Crack the top off the eggs, sprinkle with sea salt and get dipping!


This dressing is perfect for pasta and salads. You only need 2 or 3 spears of asparagus but the flavour throws a real summer punch!
Place 2 or 3 spears of asparagus into a small blender with the juice of half a lemon, 2 tsp olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and 3 or 4 mint leaves. Blitz everything till its roughly chopped. Toss through salads of cooked pasta.
So this Saturday get to the Old Starthcona Farmers Market and grab some amazing asparagus! But be early, it sells fast!!

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