Still in season, still locally grown, I had to try another asparagus dish this week. The indulgence levels crept even higher this time though, with fennel and baby leeks amongst the vegetables creeping in with some double cream to accompany the asparagus. Following it with strawberries was pure decadence.
Pasta with Spring Vegetables
I didn’t quite follow the recipe as written; Vegetarian Classics would have had me boil each of the vegetables, one after another, in the same pan of water then keep them warm while cooking the pasta and the sauce, instead I steamed them together and cooked the rest of the dish towards the end of the steaming time. My approach worked perfectly well and seemed simpler.
The sauce called for fresh mixed herbs so I raided the garden. In addition to the suggested parsley, thyme and sage I used lemon thyme and oregano. The lemon thyme particularly worked to compliment the fennel and asparagus and even in less extravagant suppers I will be combining those flavours again. Asparagus and lemon thyme omelette is crying out to be created.
As is often the case with vegetarian cookery books, Parmesan was the recommended garnish for this dish; I’ve said it before and will no doubt find myself saying it again but Parmesan is not vegetarian. I have had this cookery book for 10 years so perhaps more recent publications have finally started getting this right! I’d have been substituting on the cheese anyway as cows’ milk doesn’t like me but it does irritate me when vegetarian recipe books specify non-vegetarian ingredients.
3 out of 5 for clear instructions and ease of cooking (too much faffing about as written)
5 out of 5 for flavour
Miss One, Cook Two
Less than two months into 2014 and last week I failed to keep to my recipe challenge. There didn’t seem much sense in beating myself up over it though, not when the failure was a result of accidentally beating myself up with a shelf. Instead I decided to make up for the missed week by attempting two new recipes this week. It seemed only right and proper that one of the recipes should be a dessert, so we enjoyed two new dishes in one night on Tuesday. I decided to go back to Just One Pot to choose my recipes, inspiration was not hard to find.
Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle
Mushrooms have always been one of my favourite foods so a simple pasta supper featuring three varieties was safely destined to be a success. I was slightly uncertain about cooking the pasta ahead of the sauce and then reheating it in the sauce but doing so worked perfectly well, and reduced washing up. If it weren’t for the extravagance of simmering cream to reduce it for a sauce, goats’ cream is pricier than cows’ (almond or oat based alternatives are more expensive still), I’d be vowing never to make a roux based white sauce again. Perhaps not the most imaginative main course ever but we both enjoyed it.
Five out of five for clear instructions and ease of cooking, four out of five for tastiness.
Slow Roast Pears With Orange and Aniseed
Another very simple dish but combining flavours I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to myself. This was delectable! The pear and chocolate crumble I have been making for years is no longer my favourite method of cooking pears, roast with orange and aniseed is going to be hard to beat. I opted to use Conference pears because I like a pear to remain reasonable firm once cooked, Williams can turn out a little on the mushy side, and the oranges I’d got were beautifully sweet and juicy. I want to have a dinner party so I can feed this to lots of people.
Five out of five for ease of cooking and for flavour.