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Asparagi - Asparagus

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1kg asparagus
  • 80g Parmesan cheese
  • 25g butter
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Method:

  1. Either boil the asparagus for 10 to 15 minutes depending on thickness, or steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Slowly melt the butter.
  3. Divide the asparagus into four portions.
  4. Drizzle each portion with the melted butter.
  5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over and add a little freshly ground black pepper if you wish.

Notes:

Asparagus has a wonderfully delicate flavour, is low in calories and rich in vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin K which is a blood clotting vitamin and is also believed to increase bone density. Asparagus also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is a good source of fibre and serves as a natural diuretic. It has been used for medicinal purposes for well over two thousand years and is also believed to be beneficial for the heart, digestive system and cells.

It grows wild in Italy with April and early May being the prime time for this delicious vegetable. The Italians only eat it when it is in season but in most countries it is possible to buy it at any time of the year. It should always be bought fresh and cooked as soon as possible to enjoy it at its best.

Asparagus can be boiled, steamed, grilled or roasted; the Italians favour steaming and grilling. It makes a perfect starter, can be added to pasta, wrapped in a crepe or pastry or rolled into thin slices of chicken and roasted in the oven or made into a delicious soup.

In true Italian style, one of the most popular ways to prepare asparagus is one of the simplest.
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