Vegan, dairy free, raw and antioxidant rich
The English asparagus season in the Vale of Evesham where much of it is grown officially begins on the 23rd April, St Georges Day and runs until Mid Summer’s Day on the 21st June.
Asparagus is a surprising vegetable. Not only is it part of the lily family, it is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium.
To celebrate the start of the asparagus season, I thought I’d share my recipe for English asparagus with dill and shallot butter. Many people choose to steam their asparagus and serve it with a rich butter sauce. This is my raw vegan version which may surprise you as it is a very rich and flavourful accompaniment. This dish is best when the asparagus is young and not too tough.
The asparagus is wilted whole in the dehydrator so it softens the texture. I use my Blendtec twister jar with the stopper top to make the butter, but if you have a Nutribullet or any other high speed blender, it will work just as well.
To prepare the asparagus, wash and pat it dry. Then holding the asparagus at each end, bend it until it snaps. Dehydrate the end with the tip and use the stalk end for something like an asparagus soup – the stalks are tougher and not so pleasant to eat.
- 1 large bunch of asparagus
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Pinch salt
- Dill and Shallot Butter
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh dill
- 3 ½ tsp chopped shallot
- A few twists of black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Toss the asparagus in the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and place on teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 114 F for 1 – 2 hours until it has reached the desired consistency.
- To make the butter; in a blender whizz all the ingredients until smooth.
- To serve, spoon a little of the ‘butter’ over the asparagus.
- Note: You can the freeze the butter in ice cube trays and defrost it as required. I like to serve it frozen, melting over the warm asparagus.