*the asparagus was gifted to me from Aussie Asparagus, all words and opinions are my own.
For the last 18 months we have been waiting with baited breath for our asparagus to be ready. I have checked each morning for the tiny spears to make their way up through the dirt. I watch the colour change from white, to purple and then finally to a luminescent green. And then I let them all go to fern.
Our asparagus is not ready to eat and for the next couple of years we will only be picking a small percentage of the spears that grow. Asparagus need a strong root system to grow, and this is developed by leaving the shoots go to fern. Each subsequent year you can pick slightly more and by year four you can pick as much as you like.
So you can only imagine my delight when I arrived home from the Local is Lovely Food Photography workshop to a package of asparagus. I couldn’t wait to jump in, create this fresh spring salad and take photos of it.
Broad beans are a little fiddly but the sweet beans are worth the trouble. These ones picked freshly from the back yard, and podded by the whole family, then blanched for one minute and finally podded from the tough, chewy outer shell, add a lovely element to this seasonal salad. Toasting the almonds sends a warm, nutty flavour through the house. I added them to the salad hot and loved the sizzle I heard when they connected with the fresh ingredients.
- 2 blood oranges
- 3 large asparagus spears
- 1 cup of broad beans
- 200 g firm ricotta
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp toasted almonds
- Peel oranges, quarter length ways and slice into 7 mm slices. Place on to the base of your salad serving dish.
- Shave asparagus with speed peeler and layer atop the oranges.
- Bring a small pot of water to the boil, pod broad beans and add to the boiling water. Blanch for one minute, remove from water and leave to cool. Once cool remove tough outer chewy layer and sprinkle the bright green beans over the salad.
- Crumble ricotta over the salad and toss gently. Sprinkle with mint leaves and toasted almonds.