The sun is shining, the kitchen doors are flung open all day and it’s definitely the weather for griddled asparagus. I may live up a Cotswolds hill but all this glorious sunshine and simple meals enjoyed outdoors is making me crave Mediterranean flavours too.
I still have a long wait for home-grown asparagus – in fact I was starting to worry that the asparagus I grew from seed last year had disappeared during the winter. Happily thin little spears have started to appear, but I need to wait a couple of years until I can harvest from these plants.
Living not far from the Vale of Evesham, there’s a plentiful supply around here of locally grown asparagus though.
My favourite is from a farm in the next village that I love cycling to for extra veg (especially at the moment when the garden is so lush but there’s still a wait for lots of Summer crops). The asparagus is freshly pulled, in large crates that I choose from – excellent value too as it isn’t yet graded or washed.
I love it simply steamed with olive oil or butter but today it seemed like the weather for griddling. While the griddle pan was hot I couldn’t resist adding slices of halloumi too; with a drizzle of olive oil and some good bread it made a quick but delicious lunch.
The olive oil was sent to me from Marina Colonna, a Masseria (farm) in Italy that looks lovely – I had a peak at the film here. The extra virgin olive oil is fruity and full of flavour in its own right but I’ve also become very inspired by their flavoured oils. I love the fact that they’re flavoured with fruit and herbs grown on the family farm and they’re also more unusual than any flavoured oils I’ve come across before.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Natural Zest of Organic Oranges or Lemons is going to be delicious drizzled over simple, summery grilled fish but how about olive oil with natural zest of organic citrus Bergamia or cardamom flavoured oil? The olive oil with natural rose essence is earmarked for a Middle Eastern inspired cake with ground almonds, while the truffle oil is heading for pasta and risotto. I’m definitely going to try some of Marina Colonna’s own recipes here too – really fancy the octopus with mandarin oil and when my broad beans are ready some will be heading into the broad bean puree with chicory and toasted bread.
Anyway, back to my lunch. Hardly a recipe, I simply heated the griddle pan, brushed it with olive oil and griddled thin spears of asparagus for a few minutes. Next into the griddle pan went slices of halloumi for 30 seconds or so each side. The myrtle (I’m thinking I must grow some!) oil was drizzled over both and I added a few basil leaves. As I had some leftover bread, this went into the griddle pan too. Delicious.
And nicely quick to cook, so it didn’t keep me too long from this:
Would love to link up with the fab Simple and In Season hosted by Ren Behan and Louisa of Eat Your Veg’s Spring Four Season’s Food (great for healthy, family friendly recipe ideas) which she co-hosts with Anneli of the lovely Delicieux.
Gorgeous recipe, heralding spring!
Thank you Lizzie. Feels like the height of summer at the moment, must savour it as I’m sure we’ll have rain soon!
HI Andrea, going to have to find some of that halloumi cheese, sounds wonderful, love asparagus and this recipe.
I love asparagus .. One vege I’ve never grown though, I’m too impatient to wait the suggested 2 years. Adore halloumi, perfect match!
I know it’s a long wait isn’t it – hope I can manage to weed without harvest for so long.
Sometimes the simplest combinations work best. I really like the idea of the myrtle oil with the other two ingredients.
Thanks Steve and I love this sort of thing just with good olive oil but the myrtle oil is a lovely change.
I’ve just been to see the farmer this morning for my weekly supply. I griddle it most of the time because it’s so easy as a starter while cooking something else.
I just had a frittata for lunch with onion, garlic, green pepper, courgette, mushroom, tomato and chorizo. Of course I sneaked in a little asparagus and it turned something great into something perfect. It was worth overheating the kitchen
Sounds great – inspired by all your Spanish culinary adventures but with lovely British asparagus.
I’m making the most of the wonderful local asparagus too! One of our friends introduced us to BBQ asparagus which was really good… I’ll eat it any way I can 😉
As for those wonderful flavoured oils, thank you for letting me sample the lemon infused olive oil. I used it in a Tabbouleh salad today, with loads of fresh parsley, mint, red onion and tomato. I didn’t have any lemon in the house so used lime juice instead – the lemon oil added a fabulous extra flavour.
It feels like just the weather for those citrusy oils at the moment doesn’t it. Sounds lovely use for the lemon oil and thought of barbequed asparagus making me hungry! x
I’m growing asparagus from seed after a couple of failed attempts to start a bed from crowns. It’s looking spindly but encouraging – going to be a long wait though. In the meantime i have discovered the joy of british asparagus from Lidl at £1.19 a bunch. Half the price of the other supermarkets so we’re eating twice as much!
My asparagus grown from seed is extremely spindly too – assuming this is normal as it has a couple of years to go? Maybe I’m just optimistic.
Asparagus and halloumi sound like a good combination. The flavoured oils are interesting too – I was at a food fair a couple of weeks ago and one stall was offering pieces of chocolate brownie to dip in olive oil infused with orange… and yes, it tasted as good as you imagine it would!
I love the chocolate brownie dipped in orange flavoured olive oil – now I’m thinking of all sorts of sweet uses for the citrus oils, fab!
What perfect flavours and I am envious of you being able to get asparagus so fresh and so near to you. I love myrtle tart but never though of it in a flavoured oil, it must have a lovely fruity note to it
Thank you Laura and yes, feel very lucky having such a good local supply of asparagus. Making the most of it at the moment and scoffing as much as I can!
I adore the simplicity of griddled asparagus laced in good olive oil and a little lemon juice. The perfect wee appetiser or side. Bet it was fab with a salty kick from the Halloumi too though! Thanks so much for linking up to May’s Four Seasons Food, so sorry it’s taken me age to get around to reading.
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