April 30th, 2009


New Season English Asparagus, Salt & Pepper Roll, Sauce Gribiche

On Friday morning I received a box with amazing looking seasonal vegetables. It was a real treat for me to discover two bunches of the finest looking English asparagus from Norfolk. I loved the way the bunches were proudly wrapped with the farmers name and address. The sense of pride in his produce was obvious and all I wanted was to match this by creating the perfect dish.

I love asparagus but never had the patience to grow them myself. It takes a lot of care and attention and you will only be able to harvest them after the second year.

Working in restaurants for many years you get used to having asparagus all year round. Some chefs do not care if it is imported from Peru or grown down the road. I do care and it’s very important that we support our local farmers.

There is no better way to celebrate the new season than with a bunch of fresh English asparagus.

This recipe is a perfect sharing size. In our home we like to make plates of food that we can share ,then it makes the eating occasion even more special, almost celebratory!


  • 2 bunches of English Asparagus
  • 1 large English muffin
  • Course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30g unsalted butter

Cut the asparagus tips to about 7 cm long.

Finely slice the stalks in 2mm thick rounds.

Blanch both the tips and stalks in salted boiling water, refresh in icy water.

Drain the tips, bundle them and tie with string.

Cut the muffin in 8 wedges like a cake. Heat a non-stick frying pan with the butter and toast the muffin wedges in the butter until golden, drain on kitchen paper.

Sauce Gribiche

  • 1 hard boiled egg chopped
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 cornishons chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped capers
  • 1 tsp chopped savoury and oregano
  • 50g mayonnaise
  • 20g olive oil
  • Blanched asparagus stalk rounds
  • Course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the Gribiche and let the flavours infuse for half hour before serving.

Serve the Bundle of asparagus and toated English muffin wedges on a large slate with a pile of course sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Scoop the sauce into a small dipping pot or bottle.

Serves 2

Food Fanatic Tip
Place a small piece of copper pipe in the salted blanching water. The copper contains free copper or zinc ions that  replace magnesium in chlorophyll, giving the green colour to vegetables.

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10 Comments to “New Season English Asparagus, Salt & Pepper Roll, Sauce Gribiche”

  1. Beautiful plating and picture. I’ve just gotten bunches of asparagus in my veg box and can’t wait to try them with your gribiche sauce.

  2. Monica says:


    The last year’s bunch of asparagus has turned me off of the vegetable. Your picture makes me want to try it again. As soon as it’s in season in my area.


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  4. Jeanne says:

    Lovely site! Wonderful pictures and amazing food! Thank you!

  5. Tink says:


    Wonderful name and wonderful site! I love the way you cook and support local food. We are used to the Dutch white asparagus but after moving to the US we found the green ones. We here in the Pacific NorthWest are also more or less obsessed with buying local(we have a share in a farm’s harvest!) and I will certainly try out your recipes. At the moment grilling the asparagus and serving them with a bit of olive oil and coarse sea salt is my favorite. ;-)

    Thanks for the great info, photo’s and recipes!

  6. Emily says:

    What a superb site. I wish mine looked this good!

  7. What a wonderful site you have. I’m becoming increasingly obessed with food. Now I have more time on my hands I want to increase my knowledge about food and how to cook really well. You will definitely be an inspiration in this journey of discovery. It will be interesting to see how the New Zealand larder measures up compared to the British one!

  8. Sarah says:

    I am happy I found this site, beautiful pictures and great recipes!
    Nifty copper wire trick, I will have to try it out. English asparagus seems so much bigger than what we have here.

  9. Laura says:

    Hi Madalene,
    Just clicked on your website for the first time. Amazing. I`ll come here very often and will definitely try your recipes! The pictures are beautiful too.

  10. Y says:

    Looks like the perfect way to enjoy asparagus. Interesting cooking tip too.

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