The English Asparagus Season officially begins on St Georges Day, 23rd April, and finishes at the end of June. However, we all know that there are imports available all the year round and that UK growers have developed strains to crop earlier and beyond the traditional season.
This should not detract from English Asparagus being one of the great British annual treats. We don’t grow our own on the Gladwin Farms but our neighbours produce a fabulous crop. New shoots appear every day sprouting directly out of rich brown earth to be nipped off with a small knife just below the surface. It is harvested very early in the morning and shipped straight to market so there should be no delay and deterioration (one of the reasons it tastes so good). When the season comes to its natural end the last shoots are left to grow up into leaves and flowers recharging the plants for the next year.
This recipe combines the asparagus with some of Gregory’s great smoked Bacon and paneed duck eggs that have a richer, creamier flavour than a hen’s Egg. Washed down with a glass or two of the Gladwin’s own Sussex white wine and you will be transported to a different place. What grows together goes together is one of our brotherly motos.
Ingredients – Serves 4
4 Duck Eggs
100g Plain Flour
Salt and Pepper
1 Hens Egg
150g Panko Breadcrumbs
Vegetable Oil for deep-frying
4 slices Smoked Streaky Bacon
2 bunch English Asparagus
To finish – a drizzle of Rape seed Oil, Chervil and Black Pepper
A ribbed Griddle plate
A pan and basket for deep-frying
- Cook the duck eggs in boiling water for 7 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a bowl of iced water to chill. Once chilled peel carefully under cold water.
- Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper, crack the hen’s egg and lightly whisk with a little salt and place in a small bowl, place the breadcrumbs on another plate.
- Take the boiled duck egg and roll in the seasoned flour then in the egg mix, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Check they are fully coated.
- Heat 6cm Oil in a Deep frying pan. Cook the Paneed duck eggs at 180c for 2- 3 minutes until golden brown. Keep warm.
- Lay the bacon on a baking tin between 2 sheets of baking paper and place a smaller tin on top to keep the bacon flat.
- Cook the bacon in a preheated oven at 200c for 10 minutes until crispy.
- Trim the asparagus and cook in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and allow to dry
- Place a griddle plate onto a high heat. Drizzle a little Oil onto the Asparagus and season well with Salt and Pepper. Then sear on the hot griddle, pressing down to get chargrilled stripes.
- Assemble the plates right away with Hot seared Asparagus, Duck egg and crispy bacon
- Finish with a sprig of Chervil, Black Pepper and Olive oil.
The Gladwin brothers run Nutbourne, Rabbit, The Shed and Sussex restaurants in London which they furnish with produce from their family farm.