Asparagus Nouveau at London’s Borough Market!

Neil Forbes

Neil Forbes

Executive Chef 30th April 2018

Asparagus Nouveau at London’s Borough Market!

Seasonal Showcase Of English Asparagus Fresh From The Farm
10am – 5pm Thursday May 3rd and 10am – 6pm Friday May 4th 2018

A selection of guest traders from the Asparagus Growers Association will be setting up shop at Borough Market on 3rd and 4th May, selling the very best English asparagus, marking the beginning of the short but sweet growing season of this much loved product.

Guest growers will be selling first of the season English asparagus fresh from the farm in the Market Hall, ready to share the secrets of creating the perfect bunch of this quintessentially English specialty. Borough Market’s regular fruit and vegetable traders’ stalls will also be stocked with these freshly harvested green spears.

To show the versatility of asparagus and to help inspire cooking at home, a number of seasonal street food offers will be available during the season, featuring asparagus from the market’s fruit and vegetable traders. Special dishes include: Asparagus Pakoras from Horn OK Please, Ham, Cheese and Asparagus empanadas from Portena, and Asparagus and Bacon Scotch Egg from Scotch Tails. Asparagus will also be the main feature in the demo kitchen between 1-2.30pm on Friday the 4th May; Chef Neil Forbes has devised a number of dishes, which will be available as recipe cards for visitors to take away.

Neil's menu will include:
• Fresh herb gnocchi with buttered English asparagus, grated Montgomery cheddar, organic leaves
• Sundried tomato, olive and English asparagus frittata, salad of rocket, sheep's curd and olive oil
• Charred English asparagus with sauce gribiche and crispy ham
• Salad of raw English asparagus with broad beans, mint and peas, with crumbly goats cheese and olive oil
• Gently-cooked smoked salmon wrapped English asparagus with radish and watercress

Darren Henaghan, Director, Borough Market said: “English asparagus is recognised as the best in the world. Although we can now access out of season asparagus year-round from far flung countries, nothing beats tasting our native spears fresh from the farm. We might grumble about the British weather, but our cooler, damp climes means that our home-grown asparagus can develop slowly, producing a sweet flavour and tender texture quite unlike any other crop.”

Six Asparagus Facts
· It’s only in season for 3 months (23 April: St George’s Day – 21st June: Midsummer’s Day)
· Dubbed the Usain Bolt of the vegetable world, asparagus can grow up to 10 cm in one day.
· In the 18th century, asparagus was popularly known by the name sparrow-grass.
· Asparagus used to be served before weddings in France for its supposed aphrodisiac properties. Research by the ‘International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Research’, showed that when rats consumed asparagus their libido increased dramatically!
· The ancient Greeks recommended asparagus to cure everything from toothache to heart disease, it can help to cure hangovers and protect the liver against toxins
· Asparagus contains vitamin K, essential for healthy blood clotting, and is a rich source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.

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