Thursday 26 May 2011

Quinoa with Asparagus and peri-peri butter

At certain times of the year, it just feels instinctively right to be eating certain foods. In the Autumn, I go mad for squashes - you've probably deduced this from the sheer amount of squash recipes that you are presented with around that time. In the Springtime, this is replaced by an asparagus frenzy. I eat it ever other day in one form or another. One day, I'll have it with olive oil, balsamic and parmesan shavings for a quick lunch, another day I'll make a risotto or an asparagus salad. I won't tire of it until the season is over, because I am always looking for new and exciting ways of using it. The other day, I found this brilliant, and very simple recipe (my favourite kind) on 101 Cookbooks. As usual, I changed it, so that I could use up the ingredients I already had at home, but the concept's the same - it's still based around the main ingredients of quinoa, asparagus, butter and creme fraiche, but instead of pine nuts I used sunflower seeds, English mustard instead of Dijon and peri-peri instead of Tabasco. So I guess you can't really call it "Tabasco and Asparagus Quinoa" anymore. I used exactly the same techniques as 101 Cookbooks, so I won't go into them all again, but, as a brief outline: the first four ingredients are combined to make the peri-peri butter, before being added to the cooked quinoa, toasted seeds and lightly cooked asparagus. it really is as simple as that, so if you are a reasonably confident cook, you may not even need to read the long version

Ingredients (serves 4)

1/2 cup butter, salted
1 1/2 tsp English mustard
2 tblsp peri-peri sauce
Squeeze of lemon juice
400g asparagus aprox.
4 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
4 dollops of creme fraiche, to serve

I love the concept of a flavoured butter. It's so simple and so perfect. Watch this space for more on that. And more asparagus recipes, of course

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