The Penventon Park Hotel in Redruth is an unexpected surprise. I’d never imagined such a grand and elegant establishment in grounds tight in the heart of Redruth. However, that’s not untypical of Cornwall. I’ve become almost blasé about expecting the unexpected.
My visit recently was a preamble to the start of the Asparagus season in Cornwall. Alas, the weather having being seasonally cold so far this year, Tregassow’s crop, as John and Jennie Keeler explained, still lives completely dormant underground. So rather than the baskets full of freshly picked spears I’d anticipated, a dry and weathered looking asparagus crown, the root-stock, lay like a withered gigantic spider on a white table-cloth.
I adore asparagus, and my heart sank.
But as soon as the weather warms it will grow. It’ll suddenly, as if by magic, sally forth like a race horse out of the traps. The speed of it acceleration sometimes means that a field can be picked twice in one day.
From the end of April through May for little more than six weeks of the year is Asparagus season. If you want to eat it when it is premium and local this is the time to go crazy and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner….
The Penventon will be hosting its second annual Asparagus Festival on Sunday May 19th. Perfect for an introduction if you are not familiar with this superb vegetable.
We made do with English Asparagus grown under poly tunnels for the following dish. It was simple, quick and delicious. Go for it!
Asparagus, Buffalo Mozzarella and Prosciutto Parcels – Recipe by Jo Lado Devessa, Executive Chef at the Penventon Park Hotel.
- 16 Asparagus spears – snap of woody end (if you bend them slightly they will snap)
- 125g Mozzarella ball- sliced into four
- 8 slices of prosciutto
- 3 table spoons of extra virgin oil
- 1 table-spoon of red wine vinegar
- small bunch of basil, finely shredded
- rocket leaves to serve
- Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes in boiling slated water, then refresh in cold water, when cold place on some kitchen paper to drain excess water
- Lay 2 slices of prosciutto flat and place the first two asparagus spears on top. Cut each mozzarella slice in half and sit both pieces on top of the asparagus. Top with two more spears (you only need two if very large asparagus spears), then wrap the asparagus in prosciutto so the mozzarella is enclosed.
- Heat a little olive oil in a pan – then carefully fry the parcels until the prosciutto has crisped and the mozzarella oozes out.
- whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and add the basil.
To assemble the dish
Serve each parcel with rocket leaves and a little dressing drizzled over.
For more information:
Sunday 19th May – 11am – 4pm
- Talk to the Keeler Family, Cornwall’s leading grower for 12 years
- Be inspired by cookery demonstrations
- Visit the market stalls where you’ll meet our fantastic Cornish suppliers
- Lunch and evening asparagus menu all weekend (booking essential)
- Follow on twitter @Aspfestival
- Tasty Tuesday: Grilled Prosciutto Asparagus Spears (thediaryofanaphylaxis.com)
- From the kitchen: Asparagus, Prosciutto & Caramelized Onion Tart (loveandcupcakesblog.com)