The Island produces an array of amazing food and drink, but the undoubtable star of the show for spring that has been eagerly awaited, has got to be asparagus. Read our guide to choosing and eating the very best of this local delicacy…
Although it’s available all year round in supermarkets, we are talking about the real locally grown stuff, that is absolutely at its best. Pick it up from local farm shops from April to July.
Local farm shops are your best bet to get locally grown produce that has travelled minimal food miles and might have even been picked only that morning. Try Briddlesford Lodge Farm Shop, Farmer Jacks, Brownriggs, Rosalie’s of Cowes or The Farm Shop, Bembridge. Look out for tightly furled tips with straight, firm shoots.
Wash and then remove the ends of larger asparagus. You can boil it, but for the best taste, steaming is where it’s at. Steam for about four minutes then serve with Hollandaise sauce or dipped into a runny egg.
For an alternative, it’s great grilled. Toss the spears in olive oil, season with salt and place in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Serve up with a tasty summer roast chicken.
If the sun is shining, why not pop them on the barbecue. Do the same as for grilling, just make sure to remove them before they char.
Many of the Island’s eateries put locally grown asparagus on the menu as soon as the first spears are in. Try The Spyglass Inn, The Fishbourne, The Sun Inn, Hulverstone, Morgans Restaurant and The Garlic Farm.