It’s ba-ack. Yup, asparagus, the Freddy Krueger of the fruiterers, is back for another season.
Just as a cinematic baddie never really dies, but returns again and again and again, pushing terrifyingly into your subconscious, so sturdy green shoots of asparagus nudge their way through the soil again every year.
You can count on it. Like nightmares after a slasher flick.
But instead of nightmares, asparagus brings happy thoughts. Its appearance in the greengrocer’s heralds the warmer light-filled days ahead, prompting foodwriters to wax lyrical about the pleasures of spring and pen rapturous odes to the joys of asparagus.
Just like Wordsworth, minus the daffodils. Makes you want to jump into the car and head out on a lamb-spotting expedition … Actually, I reckon the Romantics got it all wrong. Lambs look so cute frolicking in the paddocks among the daffs, but just imagine how much better they’ll look once the butcher’s taken to them with a cleaver …
… little baby legs of lamb, studded with rosemary and slivers of garlic and roasted, all sweet and melting flesh … delicious. And alongside, a giant bowl full of jersey bennes dripping melted butter and smothered in fresh mint, and huge platters piled high with asparagus … maybe fat sweet strawberries or slender stalks of rhubarb to follow, gently poached in a little sugared tangelo juice, with plenty of pouring cream …
Now that’s really something to go into raptures over. For where asparagus leads, all sorts of other gastronomic delights are sure to follow. Roll on summer.