Steamed Asparagus with Toasted Pine Nuts & Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary


Asparagus remains one of the few great examples of real seasonal eating. Spring time comes round and it means that fresh asparagus is on its way. This recipe is great as a side to fish, or to accompany one of the recipes from the ‘on the bbq’ chapter. It can also be enjoyed as an entrée or light lunch all on its own.

serves 4
what you need
1/4 cup (40g) pine nuts
2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp caramelised balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
parmesan, shaved and freshly ground black pepper, to serve

what you do
1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and dry fry the pine nuts for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool.
2. Cook the asparagus in a steamer for 3-5 minutes, until just tender and bright green (test with a small sharp knife). The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the spears. Remember it will continue to cook once removed from steamer, so get it out sooner rather than later.
3. Arrange the asparagus on a platter and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with the lemon juice, caramelised balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. Top with shaved parmesan and season with pepper as desired.

Note: Caramelised balsamic vinegar is balsamic vinegar which has been boiled to reduce it in quantity, producing a thicker and sweeter syrup consistency. On some occasions sugar is added at the time of boiling to add further sweetness and help with the caramelising.

© Recipe - Naked Food - the way food was meant to be - by Jane Grover

Recently I visited Kurrawong Organics Farm on the Central Tablelands of NSW. Lesley Bland cooked me a lovely meal using fresh organic vegetables from their market gardens. This is my take on the delicious potatoes she cooked for me that evening with her freshly dug, new season potato crop.

serves 6
what you need
1 kg kipfler potatoes or chat potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp rosemary leaves

what you do
1. Preheat the oven to 250ºC (230⁰C fan forced) and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
2. Cook the potatoes in a steamer for 20 minutes until tender. Dry any moisture from potatoes. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer.
3. Using a fork or potato masher, gently crush or smash the potatoes so they break open but still retain their form. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.
4. Bake on the top shelf for 30 minutes, until golden brown with a crispy outside and fluffy inside.

Note: Use the highest setting on your oven, preferably fan forced, for the best crunchy result.

© Recipe - Naked Food - the way food was meant to be - by Jane Grover