I know that the old 'eat seasonal and local' phrase has become an over-used mantra to some people, and I also know that this philosophy is a difficult one to stick by when you are struggling with a large family and little money. So I choose to use it wisely and with caution when teaching; some people simply cannot follow the foodie idealist way of life and I can sympathise.
However, there are certain products that I feel so strongly about that I almost urge the nation to buy them when they are in season. Products that are in such abundance that you would be a fool to not make the most of their short window of growth.
At the moment asparagus and rhubarb are everywhere and I'm being given both of these vegetables on a regular basis from kind mates and family. I'm cooking with and eating rhubarb almost every other day and there are only so many crumbles a portly gent is allowed to consume in a week. So more rhubarb recipes, both sweet and savoury, will be appearing soon.
The best asparagus is almost at an end and this 'King of the vegetables' should be treated with great respect. My favourite way is to simply roast them in a little olive oil and balsamic and eat with a few shavings of Parmesan, Cheddar or crumbly Lancashire. Another great thing to do is team them up with some quality bacon in a kind of BLT or 'BLAT' which becomes a sandwich to beat all sandwiches. Probably the best sandwich in the world? I would say.
Bacon, Lettuce, Asparagus and Tomato Sandwich (The BLAT)
4 pieces of thick white bread
8 asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp quality mayonnaise
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
8 slices of good smoked bacon
A handful of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil or 2 tomatoes thinly sliced
1 - Pre-heat the oven to GM6/200C. Put the asparagus into a baking tray and toss in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a little seasoning. Roast for 10 minutes.
2 - Grill the bacon until crisp and golden. Reserve on kitchen towel.
3 - Lightly toast the bread.
4 - Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard and spread liberally onto the toasted bread.
5 - Layer the bread with lettuce, hot bacon, asparagus and tomatoes and devour.