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Make the most of UK Asparagus Season with Green Chef

The days are longer and the weather is warmer. This is the time when many of us start to crave lighter, healthier dishes, ideally containing produce that is in season. Traditionally, UK asparagus season runs from mid-April until the summer solstice on the 21st June. Here are just a few reasons to make the most of this amazing vegetable whilst it’s at its best.

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Spring Orzo Bowl with Asparagus and a Lemon & Parsley topping

Ingredients

Premium Tomato Mix - 125 grams

Asparagus Bundles - 100g

Green Beans - 80g

Orzo - 120g

Sun-dried Tomato Paste - 1 sachet

Vegetable Stock Paste - 10g

A lemon

Flat Leaf Parsley - 1 bunch

Nutritional Yeast - 1 sachet

Baby Spinach - 100g

Pumpkin Seeds - 15g

Water - 400 ml

Method

Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.

Halve the tomatoes. 

Trim the asparagus and cut into thirds. Trim and halve the green beans. Boil a half-full kettle.

Spread out the tomatoes, asparagus and green beans on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on the middle shelf for 8-10 mins.

While the veg cooks, heat a large saucepan on medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. Add the orzo and sun-dried tomato paste. Cook for one minute, stirring. 

Add the boiled water from the kettle. 

Turn the heat up to high and bring back to a boil, stirring regularly to ensure the orzo doesn’t stick. Stir in the veg stock paste. Reduce to a simmer on low heat, and cook until the orzo is just tender, 6-8 mins. Stir regularly. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, zest and juice half of the lemon, and cut the remaining half into wedges. Roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all). In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, half the parsley and half the nutritional yeast. Set aside your lemon and parsley topping until ready to serve.

Once the orzo is tender, add the spinach to the pan a handful at a time and cook until wilted and piping hot, 1-2 mins. Stir through the lemon juice, remaining parsley and nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, one minute.

Share the orzo between your bowls. Top with the roasted tomatoes, asparagus and green beans. Sprinkle over the lemon and parsley topping, then scatter with pumpkin seeds and serve with a lemon wedge.

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King Prawn and Asparagus Stir-Fry with Ketjap Manis & Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

King Prawns - 250g

Ginger

Asparagus Bundles - 150g

Pak Choi

Red Chilli

Egg Noodle Nest x2

Ketjap Manis (sweet soy sauce)

Method

Pat the prawns dry with kitchen paper. Peel and grate the ginger.
Use a teaspoon to easily scrape away the peel. 

Put the prawns and ginger into a medium bowl. Pour over the olive oil for the marinade and season with salt and pepper. 

Toss to coat and set aside to marinate for a few mins. 

IMPORTANT: Wash your hands and equipment after handling raw prawns. Trim the bottom 2cm off of the asparagus and discard. Cut into quarters, on an angle. Trim the pak choi, then thinly slice widthways. Halve the chilli lengthways, deseed then thinly slice.
Boil a full kettle.

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Once hot, add the ginger prawns and cook for 6-7 mins, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, remove the prawns from the frying pan, and cover to keep warm. 

IMPORTANT: The prawns are cooked when pink on the outside and opaque in the middle.

While the prawns are cooking, pour the boiled water and salt into a large saucepan on high heat. When boiling, add the noodles, stir, and cook until tender, four minutes. Once cooked, drain in a colander. Return to the pan and toss with a splash of oil to prevent sticking.

Put the frying pan (no need to clean) back over medium-high heat (no oil). Add the asparagus and two thirds of the chilli, and stir-fry until starting to char, 2-3 mins. Add the pak choi and stir-fry until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles to the pan along with the ketjap manis, olive oil for the sauce and a splash of water. 

Use tongs to coat the noodles and veg in sauce. Add the prawns and cook for one miuten to ensure it is piping hot.

Serve the prawn and asparagus stir-fry in bowls. Sprinkle the remaining red chilli over the top.