Your guests will love you for incorporating asparagus into your Christmas recipes, read on for advice and ideas:
Asparagus may not be in season to enable those of us living in the northern hemisphere to eat local produce during the holiday season but it is a time when there will be plenty of imports around. We have collected a variety of asparagus recipe ideas to help you out over this busy time of the year:
Your first priority for Christmas Day or whatever your family get together is for is to make sure you can enjoy it. I spent many years watching how effortlessly my Mum would cater for the whole family without getting in a flap and wish I could do the same. I realise now that I used to be too ambitious and leave too much to the last minute. The key to a chilled out time with your family is preparation and a simple but delicious meal. If you can I would suggest you set the table the day before, make your puddings the day before and keep in the fridge or have puddings that can be warmed through in the oven next day, prepare the veg the day before and store in cold water overnight and chose simple starter that doesn’t need much work on the day.
I would suggest some options:
Asparagus with Smoked Salmon as a starter. Keep it really simle just plain steamed asparagus served with butter and topped with a piece of smoked salmon.
Plain steamed asparagus with butter as a vegetable for your main course. Just 3 or 4 spears each cooked in the microwave is a really quick easy vegetable to prepare. (Don’t prepare this the day before it’s so easy). You won’t need the usual serving as everyone will be easting so much!
For both the recipes above try using the microwave to steam your asparagus. It's so easy.
Cream of Asparagus Soup as a starter (although soup can be very filling for a big dinner) prepared the day before that just needs heating up and serving.
Mini Asparagus Quiches
Again you want this to be as effortless as possible but as you are not cooking the same volumes you can look at a wider range of choices without causing a kitchen melt down.
As suggested for the big family dinner Asparagus with smoked salmon is hard to beat as a starter and very easy. With only two to cook for you could try Roast Asparagus with Smoked Salmon which is a bit fiddlier but very pretty.
White Asparagus Salad with Capers is a very interesting and tasty side dish which can also be used as an appetizer. Use the best white asparagus you can afford for a special occasion.
You could go with Asparagus rolls a dish with Chicken asparagus, parma ham, peppers and cream cheese for your main dish. Prepare in advance then pop in the oven for a dish that oozes a bit of class.
Finger food to hand around is so tasty, I love it and my sister is the crudités queen. She makes the most fantastic array of little tasty mouthfuls. I can’t compete with her dishes but there are some nice asparagus options to mix in with your other tasty morsels.
Try asparagus filo parcels or vol-au-vents with aparagus stir fried vegetables or asparagus and mushroom sauce.
Asparagus soup has to be top of the list for a group of friends arriving for lunch after a walk on the Hills or often in our house a day canoeing on the river. Buy some nice crusty bread make the soup the day before so all you have to do is warm it up and fill them up. Chose any of our soup recipes and vary the ingrediants to use up leftovers.
Another option is one of our Asparagus pasties. Mixed Vegetable pasties or asparagus and mushroom sauce pasties. Try them both. Again you can prepare earlier for a quick re-heat or make the filling and put the pasties together on the spot. They take no time to cook.
When you’ve eaten too much food its time to turn to something simple. Asparagus salad is great although it is best with the thinner asparagus stems which may be harder to find at this time of year.
Then for the juicers amongst you there’s asparagus juice and our Asparagus soup (no not the cream of asparagus soup the other ones!) is as good a detox as anything just vegetables and stock what could be healthier than that?