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Asparagus with New Potatoes & Lemon

Updated on June 13, 2015
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Asparagus, new potatoes & lemon - an easy recipe

This lovely asparagus dish is a meat free meal that I often used to make when I lived in England.

The combination of the fresh asparagus, combined with lovely new potatoes, sweet peppers and tangy lemon juice is so tasty, healthy and has the bonus of being quick and easy to make. In the UK, this was a springtime and early summer dish because at that time, this lovely vegetable is in season and new potatoes are just appearing in the markets.

Now that I'm in Florida, it's great at any time of year whenever asparagus is available. I do like to cook according to the seasons though because using ingredients that haven't had to travel far to get to the grocery store is much more planet-friendly.We had this last night and we enjoyed some lovely Italian bread with it - it's handy to have a little bread to mop up the lovely lemon-flavored buttery juices!

Photograph © BritFlorida.

Eight simple ingredients

Vegetarian asparagus recipe ingredients
Vegetarian asparagus recipe ingredients

Here's what I used for two people

  • 6 - 8 oz asparagus
  • 6 - 8 new potatoes
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 small piece of blue cheese - 1 - 2 oz
  • A small knob of butter - about the same amount as the cheese
  • Approximately 1 heaped tablespoon sunflower seeds and mixed chopped nuts
  • Few sprigs of fresh oregano

Vegetables

Prepare the asparagus, potatoes and pepper
Prepare the asparagus, potatoes and pepper

POTATOES

Put a pan of water on to boil. Whilst it's boiling, clean and prepare the potatoes by cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the boiling water and then turn down the heat a little. They will take about ten minutes or so.

ASPARAGUS

Slice the bottoms off the asparagus and clean away those little - I know there's a proper name but I can't remember it - triangular bits on the stalks. Slice the asparagus into pieces roughly an inch long.

RED PEPPER

Remove any seeds from the pepper and cut into slices.

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 8-Quart Covered Straining Stockpot
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 8-Quart Covered Straining Stockpot

There are two things that annoy me when I'm cooking and this simple but ingenious pan solves both. The first is that it's impossible to strain water out of pans without using a colander which just adds another item to the dishes that need to be washed and dried. The other thing (which I think is gross) is cleaning out the drain cover in the kitchen sink because it always has unidentified bits of food in it. Voila! Problems solved!

 
Prepare the red pepper
Prepare the red pepper

ADD VEGETABLES

By now, the potatoes will be cooked so add the peppers to the pan. After a minute or so, turn the heat down and almost drain out the water; leave about half an inch in the bottom. Add the asparagus and put a lid on the pan. This means that the it will steam, rather than boil. The cooking time depended on two things - how you like it and how thick the stalks are. We enjoy it when it still has plenty of crunch. Around three or four minutes is about right for us but the best way is to taste it to see.

ADD OREGANO LEAVES

Add the fresh oregano and stir in. Strain out the water and remove the pan from the heat, keeping the lid on to keep the vegetables warm.

Asparagus, new potatoes and pepper
Asparagus, new potatoes and pepper

SAUCE

While the vegetables are cooking, melt the butter in a small pan. Add a little lemon zest (simply use a fine grater on the lemon peel. Break up the blue cheese into small pieces and with the pan on a low heat, stir this in until it's melted. I add a little chopped oregano too.

ASSEMBLE

Toss the nuts and seeds into the vegetables. Add the juice of the ½ lemon and stir. Drain the vegetables and finally, add the butter / blue cheese sauce, toss lightly and serve

Butter & blue cheese sauce
Butter & blue cheese sauce

Serve!

Serve with lemon wedge
Serve with lemon wedge

Further reading - seasonal cooking

Cooking foods when they are in season makes so much sense. Seasonal foods are less expensive, tastier and even more planet-friendly as they don't need to be transported from thousands of miles away. In recent years, we have become accustomed to finding almost everything in our supermarkets, year round. This takes away the fun of food! To me, if a food is available all year, it takes away its special value when the season starts. You'll find inspiration below!

Specialist steamers

My life would have been so much easier if these had been around when I lived in England. The area around Evesham is well-known for its asparagus growing and when I spent a spell living in that area, the season was a wonderful annual treat (they even have an annual asparagus festival there.) My problem with cooking it - and many people have the same issue - is that the tips are so very delicate and need very careful handling. These cookers can be used for cooking so many other items - they are useful in the kitchen often - but for delicate asparagus, they are ideal.

Oh I nearly forgot our new chopping board!

If you're a regular reader of my recipes, and if you're very eagled-eyed, you might have noticed that our photographs no longer feature our battered old chopping board. We now have an extremely smart Mario Batali board. I'd been holding back on getting a new one but then I read that Mario Batali is very pro-planet and his products focus heavily on sustainability. That did it for me!

Asparagus with new potatoes & lemon
Asparagus with new potatoes & lemon

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      This looks heavenly. I am heading to the store NOW.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      this looks delish. thanks for including the links for the cutting boards. i have a bread board which is very old and now serves as a hot pad on my counters and support for other cooking needs. the breadboard by batali will be a nice replacement item because it too will fit nicely over the sink, making it easier for chopping and dicing tasks.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 3 years ago from East Central Florida

      Sounds delish - I would never have thought of cooking asparagus with nuts!

    • Alyssa DeBoer profile image

      Alyssa DeBoer 3 years ago

      looks really yummy!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I love the recipe especially the cutting boards.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      What a fabulous recipe. Your photographs are absolutely mouth watering, and I love that you mentioned sustainability in your choice of cutting board. Thank you on all counts.

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Sounds great!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Have to give this a try! The asparagus wanted to leave the page and come to my house. Honest. Looks so good and healthy.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @calgaryweddingphotographer1: It's lovely - thank you!

    • profile image

      calgaryweddingphotographer1 3 years ago

      This sounds so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    • somebudiesangel2 profile image

      Tami-Lynn 4 years ago from North Vancouver

      looks delicious.....great lense:)

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 4 years ago

      Oh this sounds delicious!!!

    • profile image

      TheGardenGuys 4 years ago

      Great lens - nice big pictures. Well done on a great lens.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @slotowngal: Enjoy!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @KamalaEmbroidery: I'm sure that it will be just as tasty :)

    • profile image

      slotowngal 4 years ago

      One of my favorite parts of spring each year is the abundance of fresh asparagus! Great recipe, and great lens! Thank you so much...

    • KamalaEmbroidery profile image

      KamalaEmbroidery 4 years ago

      I want to try this, but without the blue cheese as I can't eat dairy. Thanks for the ideas.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Rangoon House: Thank you! For the non-veggie, many of my recipes make great side dishes or appetizers.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      I am not vegetarian, but you could sway me in a heartbeat with these delicious recipes!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lgOlson: Oh, I love melted butter! I'm sure you'll enjoy this recipe.

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      I love these veggies and never tried it this way with the oregano, peppers and lemon and will try this, but without the blu cheese (I don't care for it). Butter on everything for me and lots of it!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @gottaloveit2: Oh I would love to have an asparagus patch! Thanks for visiting!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      I used to have an asparagus patch so would go pick asparagus every day for about 6 weeks. It tastes SO different from even the best store bought. Great recipe.

    • LauraMarie LM profile image

      LauraMarie LM 4 years ago

      Looks yummy!! I love asparagus so I should definately try this some time!

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 4 years ago

      Love spring asparagus

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lisln: Thank you so much, Lorlinda. I hope you try the recipe!

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

      With those big bright pictures it makes you hungry. Very nice lens Brit.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @moonlitta: Thank you so much. It's always tricky getting a photograph of the final dish because we want to start eating right away!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 4 years ago

      Terrific dinner (and photographs as well)!