Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Salad Report, Weather, Cell Phone, Kew on a Plate.

I said I was going to try the Asparagus Salad which I posted yesterday. Well I made it for supper on Tuesday night. I had bought a Rotisserie Chicken off which we ate the most part of the breast (the rest will be going into the "Leftover Chicken Casserole") and ate the salad with it. I made a few changes according to what I had on hand. I only keep white wine vinegar and I added a half spoon of sugar to the dressing and used less oil. The oil in the recipe would be a lot of calories per person. I bought the Hearts of Palm when we shopped. We both enjoyed it and I can highly recommend it.

The weather here has been very odd. Not as bad as some places in the States of course. However, starting Monday, Matt was asking what the noise was, bit like a plane sound or something, soon after a large black cloud crossed over us and dumped some very heavy cloudburst type rain. In a few minutes it was all over and the sun was shining. This kind of thing has been happening all day today as well. Weird.

Got me a knew cell phone today. Still a flip top but it will take pictures. Had trouble with the SIM card so eventually had to go shooting down to the store. First time I have been there for a very long time, once upon a time they rented DVDs, now there is not a DVD to be seen. Do people still rent DVD's? I really don't know.  It's a long time since I rented one.

There is a programme on TV Ontario at the moment called Kew on a Plate. Kew is a large botanical
garden in London, England. Although I lived a short distance away for 4 years, I never made a visit. Wish I had done so now of course. Kew Gardens have allowed the TV crew and a chef to plant a large kitchen garden and they are following the plants throughout the seasons of  the year. Missed 2 episodes unfortunately. However, on Monday night we saw episode 3 which was fascinating and I have found the web site to obtain the recipes I saw being prepared by the chef Raymond Blanc who is one of the most enthusiastic chefs I have ever seen. The programme is divided into seasons so when I realised that, I naturally looked for an Asparagus recipe. Here it is. The picture came from another source as there wasn't one on the website.

Grilled Asparagus with Vegetable Crumble

Asparagus served in the classic way is delicious, but I wanted to mix the flavours of the spring with the warmer flavours and textures of the summer. I’ve spiced things up a little with the slight smokiness that comes from griddling or barbecuing asparagus, a large sprinkling of smoked paprika
and a hint of chilli.

For the paprika dressing
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp lemon juice
For the hard-boiled eggs and grilled asparagus
2 free-range eggs
20 green asparagus spears, woody ends removed
3-4 fl oz refined olive oil
For the vegetable crumble
3 Tbs olive oil
3 oz baby courgettes (about 2 ½), pulsed in a food processor for 30 seconds
3 oz cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor for 30 seconds
1 oz banana shallot, finely chopped
½ red chilli, finely chopped
3 large pinches of smoked paprika
1 pinch of salt
2 Tbs lemon juice
10 g fresh parsley, chopped
5 g fresh chives, chopped

1. For the paprika dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

2. For the hard-boiled eggs and grilled asparagus, using a spoon, slide the eggs gently into a small pan of water. Bring to a simmer for 13 minutes, then remove the eggs and immediately run them under cold water. While still warm, peel the eggs then transfer to the fridge. Once cold, separate the whites from the yolks and coarsely grate each part (keep them separated), then set aside.

3. Lay five asparagus spears side by side and secure them together using two metal skewers (thread a skewer through each end of the asparagus, avoiding the tips, so that the spears are kept straight). Repeat with the remaining asparagus. Blanch in a large saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking and dry well (leave them on the skewers).

4. To cook the asparagus, heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Brush the skewered spears lightly with olive oil. When the pan is hot, lay the asparagus in it, flat, and leave for 3 minutes to gain deep griddle marks. Turn over using tongs and griddle for another 3 minutes. (If necessary do the griddling in batches; simply keep the asparagus warm in an oven preheated to 80C/60C Fan/Gas ¼ while you grill the remaining asparagus.)

5. For the vegetable crumble, in a large frying pan or sauté pan over a high heat, add the olive oil and fry the courgettes, cauliflower, shallot, chilli, paprika and a pinch of salt for 30 seconds. Add 80ml/3fl oz water, the lemon juice, parsley, chives and grated egg white. Boil for 5 seconds then remove from the heat. Stir in the egg yolk and check the seasoning.

6. To serve, put a spoonful of the vegetable crumble in the centre of each plate and arrange a stack of the grilled asparagus on top. Finish with a drizzle of the paprika dressing.

Servings: 4

Author: Raymond Blanc
Source: Kew on a Plate

Have a great day


  1. I've always wanted to see Kew Gardens. I was all set to visit England this summer and then more craziness started over there and I decided to stay put. Guess I should visit some gardens here I have never seen. And now I know who got the rain in those Doppler images I saw.

    1. I so wish I had gone Denise, don't really know why I never did. Only gardens we have visited were some of the plantations dahn Sahth. Beautiful. Yes, we got more than enough of that wet stuff.

  2. Kew on a Plate" is a brilliant documentary. I loved it when it was on here recently. I never made it to Kew when I lived in London. Not sure why but I certainly regret it now.

    1. Only seen one so far, but great programme Helen. I too regret never having been there. When did you live in London? I remember working with many Australian girls over the years, I always admired their adventuring spirit.

  3. Asparagus, yum. Now that you've got me on farm fresh, I cannot even look at the ones at the store.

    We had the same thing with the sounded like something went over the trailer but in the wrong direction. Me and the dogs heard Tim even heard it and he was in the shower. Very odd.

    We have one store in town that rents DVDs.

    I clicked on that website and that’s very much for me. Thanks!

    1. Same here Ivy. I know it was very noisy.

      I don't know if we have a DVD rental store or not now, I can get them free from the library anyway.

      Good salad. Will catch up with your other comments later.

  4. I had to look up courgettes. We call it zucchini. I think you'd be hard pressed to find people in the USA that know the word 'courgette'. Back in WA we'd get those cloud bursts and bright would happen all day long, mostly in fall and spring and wreak havoc on the highway. As soon as the bright sun comes back out suddenly, and reflects off the wet pavement, everyone slams their brakes on cause they can't see.

    1. We call them both in the UK so I forgot. Courgette is the French name JoJo, zucchini is Italian. It was kind of scary weather. I know what you mean about not being able to see.

  5. Lovely recipe Jo. The weather here is stunning but freezing when I have to get up at 5:30 in the dark. It gets colder as I drive west towards work. Thankfully no rain though. Your weather description sounds weird.

    1. I understand the programme was on in Oz Pinky. Well you are coming out of summer we are, hopefully, heading into it. It was weird.