Parsaa, varsiparsakaalia ja satay dippikastiketta
Asparagus season is upon us and marks the arrival of spring in Helsinki. I think asparagus is at its best simply cooked, so it retains its freshness and isn’t smothered by too many strong flavours. Both asparagus and tender stem broccoli (or sprouting broccoli as it is sometimes referred) are natural dippers and there is nothing better than dipping lightly cooked crisp veg into a spicy stay sauce. This dish is a great social way to start a dinner party and also works well as part of a picnic.
For some other dinner party starter ideas check out my Sweet Potato – Harissa Koftas , Beetroot Carpaccio with a Pistachio, Dill and Lemon Dressing and my Indian Style Potato Cakes.
Asparagus and Tender Stem Broccoli with Satay Sauce – serves 4 as a starter
250 g tender stem broccoli
500 g fresh asparagus
sea salt flakes
For the satay sauce:
1 tbsp oil
1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
4 cm piece of ginger finely grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed in a pestle and mortar
1 dl / 100 ml coconut milk
juice of a lime
Snap the asparagus where in naturally breaks and discard the hard woody parts, or keep them to make stock.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the asparagus and boil for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Immediately remove the vegetables and plunge them into iced cold water to refresh them.
Meanwhile make the satay sauce. Fry the garlic, ginger and chilli in the oil for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and allow it to dissolve and begin to caramelise. Stir in the soy sauce, coconut milk and peanut butter, until thoroughly combined. Squeeze in the lime and finally stir in the chopped peanuts.
Serve your asparagus and broccoli with a sprinkle of flaked salt and a bowl of satay sauce to dip.