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Spring has sprung...

Spring has sprung....

Spring has dramatically and surprisingly sprung  and not a minute too soon! With the onset of a new season my thoughts turn to new dishes and spring is perhaps the most inspiring of all the seasons.

From the land spring lamb goes without saying and to a lesser extent venison, rabbit and some wild ducks are available. From the sea, the regal salmon and his wee pal trout are in abundance are as sweet and delicate crabs and briney oysters.  But most exciting for me are the first signs of green beans, sweet peas, broad beans and asparagus as well as wild garlic, watercress, salad greens and new potatoes. The asparagus season in particular is the most evasive, traditionally running from roughly  the Grand National to the Derby  and lasting 8 weeks it generally symbolises the start of the summer. With the fantastic recent warm weather growers are reporting early bumper crops which can only be good for consumers and chefs alike. BTW if your ever in the Blairgowrie area pay a visit to Sandy Pattullo’s  Eassie Farm, near Glamis Castle- they grow some of the finest you’ll ever taste!The following recipe is an ideal summer party salad – who knows maybe, dare I say it great for a BBQ.

For more info and recipes check out www.british-asparagus.co.uk

Warm asparagus, potato and lemon salad. Serves 4

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 10 min

Ings

•1 lb/ 450g asparagus

•1lb/450g new potatoes

•4 tbsp olive oil

•Juice of half a lemon

•1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

•Freshly ground black pepper

•4 oz/110g rocket

Preparation:

Serves 4

•Clean the asparagus and trim any white ends; peel with a vegetable peeler if necessary. Boil potatoes in salted water till cooked and drain

•Blanch the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes or until just tender.

•Place olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and seasoning in a screw top jar and shake well until combined.

•Drain the vegetables and toss in the dressing while they are still warm.

•Serve on a bed of rocket leaves.