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Tuesday 12 April 2011

Sluttishly Easy: Asparagus parchment parcels

I do like opening presents. That's why this simple method for cooking asparagus is one of my favourites. Nothing beats ripping open the parcel at the table and feasting on perfectly cooked spears.

Using parchment means the asparagus steams gently in its own juices. And it's really not just me being lazy - asparagus is at its best treated very gently. A squeeze of lemon juice here, a glug of olive oil there, some seasoning - that's all it needs.

The British asparagus season officially starts at the end of next week, but if you're lucky like me, you'll manage to get your hands on a bunch early. Try this simple side with grilled fish or lamb, or just dip the spears into a soft-boiled egg.

Just get in there quick, because the asparagus season only lasts eight weeks. No time like the present!

Asparagus in parchment (serves 2 as a side dish)

You'll need:
  • A big sheet of baking parchment
  • A bunch of asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of white wine
  • Salt & pepper
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 180c / Gas Mark 4.
  • Put the asparagus in the middle of the parchment, on a baking tray.
  • Drizzle with oil, lemon juice and or wine. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Roll up the edges of the parchment to form a parcel. Tie it with some string or staple it if it won't stay together.
  • Put the tray in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Rip it open and devour.


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