This is Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink and to mark it over the next few months we will be featuring recipes that bring a whole new meaning to the word local – local chefs creating and sharing new recipes made from local, in-season produce.
This unique unique collaboration by award-winning chefs will produce a calendar that showcases Scotland’s best seasonal produce.
The collaboration culminates with a Food & Drink Festival in the autumn.
Each month in the countdown to the festival, we will be focusing on one chef and a simple recipe using their chosen ingredient.
Exec Chef at St Andrews’ five red star Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, Martin Hollis, is the driving force behind the project – and he kicks off our series with a simple, but delicious asparagus dish, suitable for a light lunch or supper.
Martin describes the vegetable as “the star of the show” at the moment.
“Throughout Scotland, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to good quality produce,” he added, continuing: “The larder from which we pick our ingredients is rich and vibrant.”
Martin headed to the family run, Muddy Boots Farm at Balmalcolm, just outside Cupar, to get the asparagus for this recipe.
“Asparagus has to be eaten when the shoots are young - any older and it loses its flavour and becomes too woody in texture,” he explained. “Not only is it packed with goodness, but it is also a very good source of fibre.”
But he reminded budding cooks: “The season for Scottish asparagus is quite short so we must make the most of it when we can.”
In this recipe the griddled asparagus is served with Kilduncan Farm eggs, cheese from St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company, just outside Anstruther, and Trotters Independent Condiments in Upper Largo provided the garlic pesto.
Other ingredients came from around Scotland including from Gorebridge, Crieff, and Hebridean Sea Salt from the Isle of Lewis. But, Martin added: “Home grown rocket is the best!”
See Martin demonstrate just how easy this dish is to make in the accompanying video.
Ingredients (serves 4)
20 pieces of asparagus
25g shaved Anster cheese
Roast garlic rape seed oil
10ml garlic pesto
1. Prepare asparagus spears, depending on the size they may require blanching
2. Cook the spears on a griddle or in a frying pan with ridges
3. Whilst the asparagus is cooking, poach the eggs - add a dash of vinegar to the pan of water, this will help the eggs hold their shape.
4. When the asparagus is slightly charred, take off the heat and place on a plate (5 spears per person)
5. Remove the eggs and drain on kitchen paper
6. Dress the rocket with pesto and place on top of the asparagus, then place the poached egg onto the rocket
7. Grind a little black pepper over the egg and drizzle the rape seed oil around the plate
8. Shave the Anster cheese over the dish and sprinkle a little sea salt over the dish