The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yum!! Asparagus season has started

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Yum!! Asparagus season has started

I don't post about my bread, mainly because I don't have a camera and photos really make a post, and while Akiko and Lumos are wonderful exceptions, all those years in Japan have left me hesitant to step foward to talk about my bread. 

Today I just wanted to share my pleasure of eating my favourite lunch of the year, one I look forward to and repeat often for a few weeks. Growing up I used to love what we call asparagus rolls - thin sandwich bread, buttered, salt & peppered and wrapped around a spear of tinned asparagus. In those days an invite often included the line " ladies a plate". This meant to bring some food to share. I guess sausage rolls were the most popular, but my favorite on those occasions was always the asparagus rolls.

When I left home I discovered the joys of using very thinly sliced Vogel's bread (a moist rye based multigrain beloved by NZers), with just blanched fresh asparagus and a spritz of lemon. But then about 20 years ago on holiday in NZ at a cafe for lunch, I ordered an asparagus filled baguette - it was unexpectedly fantastic. Wonderful crunchy, flavoursome baguette, juicy, tasty asparagus, each showing the other off. Superb. Even better than Vogels!

This year the asparagus is about ten days later than average reaching the shops (While I grow many vegetables I haven't started an asparagus bed.......) but now the wait is over. Homemade baguette, lemon from the garden, warmed asparagus, today I went with delicious NZ butter (but sometimes toss the warm asparagus in olive oil) it was just as good as I had anticipated. Over these next few weeks while the asparagus is about I'll use it in a host of different ways (including with my own multigrain breads), but this is the clear favourite. While those of you in the north are enjoying fall baking, it's the pleasure of spring for us in the southern hemisphere.

What are you enjoying with your bread, whatever the season is, where you are right now?

Is there anything seasonal you look forward to eating with your bread?

Cheers, Robyn

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Well Robyn, I am jealous.  The first asparagus of the season is simply fantastic.  I like it briefly blanched and refreshed in cold water to set the colour and then tossed in lemon olive oil, salt and black pepper then grilled briefly on a hot grill.  Our asparagus bed will be three years old next year so we be able to start harvesting it in April 2012 - if the winter weather doesn't kill it.  It does seem a robust plant because we had planted a few crowns elsewhere in the garden a few years ago and after year 2 we didn't see it for 2 years but it is now showing great growth and we are hopeful for next year's crop.

I am sure that we would all love to hear about your baking, the Vogel bread sounds interresting, do you make your own?  Please don't be self concious, I feel sure that your descriptions of your baking would be as mouthwatering as your piece about asparagus - it got me looking forward to next April even before we are into winter!

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Richard,

My turn to be jealous of your asparagus bed!

Vogel's is a commercial product, once made by a small bakery and now owned by one of the big players, the range has expanded. One of the things that set me on the path to making all my own bread was their decision to no longer sell the unsliced version of the 'original' loaf (like the original axe, this formula went through a number of changes over the years).

http://www.vogels.co.nz/bread-classic

Cheers, Robyn

G-man's picture
G-man

What I am eating with my french rolls right now is a pair of small french dip sandwiches. I cooked the beef low and slow all day in homemade beef stock with some slices of a Walla Walla Sweet onion, until it was tender enough to fall apart. I don't dip the bun in the jus before serving, but rather as I go. Tasty tasty.

My dad used to cook these all the time when I was growing up, though he prepared the meat a bit differently and he didn't start eating onions until I was just about out of the house.

It makes me sad to know that onion season is over until July. I do love a good sweet onion.